The Results Are in!

22 March 2016 by CSG

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“I’m a Scientist Get Me out of Here” online competition has now come to a close and we can announce Dr Stuart Atkinson has been awarded a well-deserved second place, pip to the post by competition winner, Lauren Laing. Congratulations to all who took part; there were some fantastic questions and answers given. Here is what Stuart had to say:

“14th-18th March saw the second week of the competition with evictions starting on Tuesday 15th. The evictions announcements come at 3pm after the day’s votes are added.

I wasn’t sure what to expect for the first eviction, but the announcement came and I was still in. Wednesday morning had a back-to-back triple chat with 3 different schools, lasting 90 minutes. With the questions coming quickly into the chat room it is was always difficult keeping up, making sure you answer every question, give good answers and spell everyone’s name correctly, so an hour and a half is a bit of an ordeal! Wednesday’s evictions came and again the kids had voted me to stay in. Thursday I thought might be the day I was ousted, but no; by Friday morning there were only two of us in the Zone, which felt like a real validation of my science-explaining ability!

Friday afternoon was basically a free-for-all where any school could log in and children could ask questions. The 2 of us remaining were doing our utmost to win as many votes as we could in giving our answers. At 3pm the final tally was announced in each of the 9 zones. I ended up coming second in the Toxicology Zone, so unfortunately missed out on the prize money, but it had been a great experience.

Congratulations go to the winner, Lauren Laing. A big thank you goes to the other scientists for competing, to the chat room moderators who must have been worn out after two weeks and 179 chats, and also to the children for their interesting, intelligent and sometimes bizarre questions, such as:

  1. Which is the most dangerous substance that you’ve worked with?
  2. Can fish be diabetic?
  3. Do you think we will be able to go light speed at some point?
  4. Why do people get autism?
  5. Do Black Holes open up in earth’s atmosphere naturally?
  6. Do you think that in a few years there will be more plastic in the sea than fishes?
  7. Is there a chemical that can cause animals to mutate into strange creatures?
  8. Do you think unicorns existed in the past? If the answer is yes, how did they die?

In a way it’s a bit of relief for it to be over, as the time taken is not to be underestimated (an hour a day in live chat but a couple of hours each evening answering additional questions). If you’re interested in promoting science to schools at this level then I would definitely recommend you take part in something like this. I’m sure there were loads of kids who were not particularly into science but got something out of it, and that is what the project was all about: inspiring the scientists of the future.”