The BSI is continuing to focus our public engagement work on advocating the importance of vaccination and vaccine research. Celebrate Vaccines is our campaign to use the expert voice of the immunology community to strengthen public understanding of vaccines and support everyone in making informed decisions about vaccination.
As part of this initiative, we are helping students in UK schools to connect to scientists online using I’m a Scientist. This resource allows students to live-chat with scientists over a messaging system and ask any questions they like about working in science. Activities are divided into zones that each focus on different science topics.
We are supporting the Health Zone, which is taking place during November and will focus on scientists whose work relates to human health. We want to spark interest in and strengthen understanding of immunology and vaccines by connecting young people to scientists from different backgrounds. Members from a broad range of areas and career stages are taking part – PhD students, senior lecturers, immunologists working in the public sector and in industry – showing students the wide range of immunology-related careers.
We would like to say a big thank you to all our members who are taking part next month!
More about the Health Zone
The Health Zone will run from 2 to 27 November with 35 scientists taking part. This includes lots of enthusiastic BSI members! We are expecting more than 1,500 students across the UK to participate in the zone, from Year 4 through to Year 12. With our funding, we are ensuring that a third of classes are reserved for underserved schools – schools with above average levels of free school meals or more than 30 minutes’ drive from their nearest university. Parents can get involved as well. An evening chat will be hosted each week during the zone for all students and their families to join in. Two of these sessions will be dedicated to talking about vaccines.
I'm a Scientist Academy
Our funding will also provide five places for members to participate in the I’m a Scientist Academy, a crash course in public engagement for scientists to enrol in as they are taking part in I’m a Scientist. This two-week online course is designed to allow participants to:
- reflect on what they are learning while engaging with students
- build their understanding of public engagement fundamentals
- be more effective when planning future outreach activities
The course consists of personalised questions and Live Chat tutorials based on the NCCPE Engage Framework Good practice principles for public engagement and science capital concepts. The personalised questions allow scientists to reflect on their engagement as it’s happening, comment on the answers of other scientists and swap tips for taking on the students’ questions.
I'm a Scientist produces retrospective reports for all the zones they run, looking back at how many schools and students participated, the topics that students were most interested in and feedback from teachers.
The Health Zone is still open for teachers to sign up their classes! I'm a Scientist is free for UK schools.
Do you want to be part of the #CelebrateVaccines movement?