I’m a Scientist (IAS), the sister event to I’m a Councillor (IAC) is currently running. We’re in the second week, about to announce the third evictions. We’re encouraging teachers and councillors who are considering I’m a Councillor to have a look at I’m a Scientist to get a feel for the event.
- They work on the same website – it has been rebuilt from scratch and is a BIG improvement
- They have the same format of the event – ASK, CHAT & VOTE
- They both use similar formats for Teacher Packs – Lesson plans, Info sheets, Debate Kits
- They both create a classroom buzz – try and catch a live chat
- They are both easy for teachers to use without much preparation
- Scientists (and Councillors) get an enormous boost from taking part – Cllr Case Studies [pdf]
As we’ve seen before with IAC, I’m a Scientist is energising students and giving them an interest in the event that teachers tell us is unique. As I write this a live chat is happening in the Imaging Zone. It is the second or third chat for these students. They know the scientists now and the scientists are getting to know them. Alexpifting is asking Dr Tom Hartley how his research is going today. In a way that they would around the watercooler. And it isn’t just the students who get a buzz. Scientists are refinding their love for their discipline.
Students who would normally be to shy to ask questions come out of their shell online and participate as much as the most confident. It allows everyone to have an equal voice and this is very empowering.
Most students don’t often get the chance to decide the outcome of something. Seeing how their votes keep in their favourite scientist gives them immediate feedback on their actions. This makes them take the event seriously and gets them into the habit of treating their decisions seriously.
Not everything is the same between the events. Science and citizenship / local democracy are different. Scientists and Councillors are not the one and the same. But the format is transferable. The format brings together two groups of people and gives them a place and reason to have a conversation, and that is why it works.