I’m a scientist, get me out of here!

Scientists from the University are gearing up to compete in a live competition where school students get to vote for their favourite researchers in a grilling process of elimination.

Taking place over the next two weeks (Monday 17 June – Friday 28 June) and involving local schools, ‘I’m a scientist, get me out of here!’ will pitch researchers from Bath against others from around the country.

Through a series of intense, fast-paced, online live chats, school students will challenge scientists to explain their research in the most engaging way possible. After a series of follow-up questions, students can then vote for their favourite scientist to win £500 to help communicate their work with the wider public.

Four researchers from Bath will go up against fellow academics in different ‘science zones’ which schools can branch into online. In total, 18 zones each with five competitors, will cover topics as diverse as energy, reproduction and animal behaviour.

Competing in the ‘Energy Zone’, PhD student Rhod Jenkins, a member of the University’s Centre of Sustainable Chemical Technologies, is looking forward to being quizzed by the student audience: “I'm very much looking forward to answering questions about my own research and the other areas of renewable energy production.

“I'd love to have been able to have this close an interaction with a science researcher when I was in school. I was the annoying kid at the back who always had his hand up in science classes! I'm looking forward to some of the students’ opinions about what the "answer’" to energy production might be, which will hopefully spark some lively debate."

PhD student Alberto Lapedriza from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry will compete in the ‘Reproduction Zone’. Alberto, originally from Spain, recently won the public vote in the University’s Images of Research exhibition for an image on understanding melanoma through colourful fish.

He added: “I’m looking forward to taking part in the event next week. I’m sure the students will ask really interesting questions that I had never thought about before, which will help me to see my research from a different perspective and maybe to understand it better. I hope I can transmit the beauty of developmental biology research and that they get inspired by it.”

Dr Joanna Bryson, from the Department of Computer Science, will also compete in the competition. Joanna is taking part in the in ‘Animal Behaviour Zone' and will be explaining some of her recent work into understanding why some people are mean and exclude each other, while other people try to be inclusive.

Finally, PhD student Jess Bean is also taking part in the competition. Jess will be competing in the 'Indium Zone'.

Local schools taking part from Bath include: Oldfield School; Hayesfield Girls' School; Prior Park College and Bath Royal High School.

Other nearby schools include: Backwell School (Backwell); Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College (Weston-super-Mare); Downend School (Downend); Downside (Radstock); Kingsmead Community School (Wiveliscombe); Lydiard Park Academy (Swindon); Somervale School (Midsomer Norton); St Katherines (Pill); St Laurence School (Bradford on Avon); St Mary Redcliffe and Temple (Bristol); and Winsley CofE Primary School (Bradford-on-Avon).

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