I’m A Scientist Get Me Out Of Here is a competition in the vein of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, where several people compete for a prize and each week, one of them is evicted until only one remains. Luckily ISTM's Matt Dunn didn’t need to go to the jungle as I’m A Scientist takes place entirely online at http://imascientist.org.uk/ . Beating off fierce competion, Matt went on to win the competition. So, we asked Matt to tell us a little bit more about his experience...
The competition ran from 13th to 24th June, where scientists with successful applications were split into different ‘Zones’ depending on their field, I was put into the ‘Cells Zone’ with four other cell biologists. For the next two weeks, we took part in numerous 30 minute live-chat sessions with classes of students from twenty different secondary schools, ranging from Year 7 to Year 9, all across the country. In these live chats the students could ask us anything they liked, from the work we did, to describing an average day, to what our favourite foods were! Despite the casual nature of the chats, the students can really test your knowledge of your subject, making it a great challenge.
Outside of the live chats, students can ask you questions directly on a profile, and they vote for their favourite scientist. Scientists with the least votes were evicted every day for the last five days until only one was left. I was lucky enough to be the last scientist standing, winning £500 to spend on outreach activities!
I plan to use the money to raise awareness of the great regenerative medicine work we all do here at ISTM, as part of the HEART Outreach group. We usually attend a few fairs and events a year as exhibitors, to spread the good word, but with the prize money we will be able to travel further and better show off the quality of the work we do here with improved cutting-edge technology.
I’m A Scientist runs multiple times a year, so I’d recommend it for anyone interested in outreach and science communication, as what is the point of doing the work we do if we can’t explain it to school children?