Science and Technology Facilities Council
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We have the winners of the first dedicated STFC I'm a Scientist - Get me out of Here! (IAS) event

An astonishing 684 inquisitive questions from 582 students at 24 schools later we have our winners…

This was the first time that an IAS event has been solely dedicated to STFC staff and funded researchers.  A daring 10 contestants; 5 scientists early in their careers in the Zinc Zone and 5 in the Subatomic Zone, took part in daily live MSN-style sessions held in classrooms across the country.  Students aged 11 – 18 years old from 24 schools took part from over the UK, from Orkney down to Weymouth and Chichester.  The students enjoyed getting to ask the questions that THEY wanted about the subjects important to THEM.

In the second week, students got the opportunity to vote off one scientist a day from each zone until the winners were found.

Rosie Schultz, IAS Project Manager praised all the scientists saying ‘’All the scientists who took part were brilliant and put so much in to participating.’’ They each dedicated several hours of their day engaging in live chats and answering students’ posted questions.

Ben Still (a researcher from Queen Mary, University of London, who works on the T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) neutrino experiment in Japan) said he expected the event to be: ‘’ frantic, fun and educational - it met and exceeded each one. I have learnt that there is an exciting amount of interest out there for physics and science as a whole that needs to be encouraged and nurtured, in schools and schemes like IAS.“

The online event provides students with the chance to talk to real scientists about their research, lifestyle and also to become more aware of the many careers available to them in science. 

"I would like to say a massive thank-you to the team for their efforts during the two live-chats with the students. Their teacher reckons that it was the most worthwhile thing they've done since they started their GCSEs’. There was a real buzz amongst them during the chats and they were very enthusiastic and positive about the experience. They, and I, found it inspirational." – Sixth form teacher.

Peta Foster (a PhD student at the Central Laser Facility at RAL (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) who is exploring the extreme states of matter using a ultra-high intensity laser at the Central Laser Facility) has planned to spend the £500 prize money creating demonstrations to answer some of the questions asked to her by the students during the event ‘’so everyone can have access to understanding something exciting about the world that they didn’t know before’’.  She then plans to use these videos to take round schools, use during tours, and even be uploaded to YouTube! 

The next IAS event will take place in March 2012. STFC will again be sponsoring one zone in 'I'm a Scientist' and one in the brand new 'I'm an Engineer' event. If you are an STFC researcher and have been inspired or interested in the November event, why not register now (link opens in a new window) for the next event now.

Schools can sign up to take part on the teacher application page (link opens in a new window) and use the Promotion Code 'STFC' any time until Monday 9th January.