I’m a scientist: physics zone

12 October 2020

During lockdown in the summer term, more than 1,100 students from 47 schools logged in to the physics zone and classes took part in 97 online chats with the 124 physicists from across academia, the public sector and industry.

Now – back for the Autumn term, The Ogden Trust is again funding the physics zone and booking is now open for sessions in November.

Part of the I’m a Scientist programme of online school engagement, the physics zone is an online, student-led science enrichment activity which connects students with physicists working in a range of roles.

Teachers are able to book moderated text-based chat sessions with groups of real physicists. Students join the chat and ask the physicists whatever they want over 40 minutes!

I don't think I have every absorbed so much in so little time. Student feedback from I am a scientist

Taking part in the I’m a Scientist physics zone helps students to get a better understanding of what physics is, and who it is for (answer anyone!); they gain confidence in asking questions and they interact with real-life physicists. The physics zone helps students to engage in the wonders of physics.Students can also read profiles about the physicists, and send them questions directly, learning more about their work in physics, their career journeys, and who they are as people. Importantly for teachers, organisation is simple and flexible, with most of the logistics handled by the I’m a Scientist team – no pre-vetting scientists, no video or audio to set up and test.

Incredibly easy to set up and run. Teacher feedback

Who it is for?

Much of the activity is pupil-led (the students ask the questions they want to) so different age groups, ability levels, and backgrounds all get something out of it.

  • Ages from Years 5/P5 to Year 13/S6
  • Secondary schools, academies, special schools, pupil referral units and other non-mainstream educational settings
  • Youth groups such as Guides, Scouts and other community groups.

Equipment needed

All your students need is internet access. The live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through the I am a Scientist site.

“It is important for young people to be able to understand what it is like to work in physics. These opportunities for direct communication give a rounded view of physicists and ideas of their activities and interests in physics and more broadly.”
Clare Harvey
Chief Executive, The Ogden Trust

Sign up now.

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