28/10/2015, by CLAS
“I’m scientist, Get me out of Here!” – My time as a ‘contestant’
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to work with other academics and school students from all over the UK on an exciting outreach project:
I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!” is an online event, where school students meet and interact with academics and learn about their work and the impact it has.
After the first week of online communication, the students start voting for their favourite academic, and the winner receives £500 to organise events to communicate their work with the wider public. The main idea is to spark the students’ interest in various academic areas and to get them talking to university staff.
In my learning zone, I worked with (or: competed against…) a zoologist, a computer scientist, a biochemist and a consultant for radioactive waste management. The students we met were absolutely fantastic; they were interested and communicative, asked some intelligent and challenging questions, scrutinised our answers and were just great people to talk to. Questions ranged from “Which part of the brain do we use to learn languages?” and “Why are languages important when everybody speaks English?” to “Do humans really exist?” and “Can you control your dreams at night?”.
We were sent a large number of questions and comments every day, but the most exciting part was undoubtedly the fast-paced live chats. In the end, I came third and lost to Iain, the computer scientist, who came second, and Hayley, the biochemist, who was crowned the winner of our group. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic experience.
“I’m a scientist…” is a great project and I loved taking part and meeting so many interesting young people. You can read my project profile, in which I describe my job and try to make a case for languages and linguistics, here.
Sascha Stollhans, Department of German Studies