Monday, 25 June 2012

I'm a scientist!

This term , along with many other schools across the country, we have been learning lots about the Olympic games. It has been of particular relevance to schools in Dorset as the sailing events are to be held at Weymouth and the torch is going to be spending several days along the world heritage site Jurassic coast.

We have been having fun planning our own sports day which will be happening (weather permitting) later this week.

Something a little different that I have done with my class this term is "I'm a scientist!"

  ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!’ is a free online event where school students get to meet and interact with scientists. It’s a free X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges.
Pitting students against scientists in a live round of intense, fast-paced, quick fire online live CHATs. Students get the chance to ASK scientists all the questions they want to, then VOTE for their favourite scientist to win prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.'

We had a fabulous live science chat last week where the children could ask science related questions. What a fast paced session it was- here are some of the questions and answers we had:

gordon : What inspired you to become a scientist?
classash : @Stuart who do you think your information will be useful to?
classash : stuart are you always so cheerful or is being asientist hard work?
classash : @stuart when you were little was your dream to be a scientists
trumpetdude : @ stuart how many skin sellls can you fit in a bath
classash : @stuart are you friends with any of the other scientists
jadey2412 : hi @stuart what does it feel like being a scientist
classash : have you always wanted to be a sientist?
classash : @stuart how many skin cells on one body
classash : @stuart what are muscles made of.
youforgotthebluebe : @stuart were you the smartist in your class?
abigail6995 : @Stuart did you study alot of science at high school or were you not as interested in science then you are now?
jadey2412 : hi @ stuart whats the most toxic thing you have used before and explain why?
abigail6995 : what type of experiments do you do? Are they on humans or something else?
classash : @stuart thank you for coming and answering all our questions we have learnt a lot
hetty123 : @stuart it's great that you answered all those questions I didn't know that theres so many different sciences to do?
mrshalford : @stuart thanks so much- the class are quite literally buzzing with excitement and are very impressed with your speed of answering
classash : @Stuart thak you for all the chat it was fun
Here are some of stuart's answers. You can read his profile at
  • stuartgray : @jacobr i use many pieces of equipment. Bikes, treadmills, analysers for oxygen, strenght testing equipment, centrifuges. The list can go on and on and on......
stuartgray : @youforgettheblu ebe I was one of the smartest in my class but there is always someone cleverer than you!!
stuartgray : @abigail yes i studies maths, physics, chemistry and biology at high school. I have always liked science
stuartgray : @jadey2412 formaldehyde as it can send you to sleep, very toxic in large amounts
stuartgray : @jadey2412 i enjoyed in class experiments when you got to see explosions or anythign cool like that!
stuartgray : @gordon @trumpetdude I do enjoy being a scientist and it is because of the variety of things and the discoveries you can make. Also things like this are very fun!!
stuartgray : L@ the best chemicals I have used are the radioisotopes. they are radioactive so I have to very careful with them, but they give great results
stuartgray : @classash it is quite hard being a scientist but if you enjoy it it seems more like fun than hard work
stuartgray : @abigail6995 I most definitely work as part of a team. I have many doctoral students and staff working with me in the lab. The old saying that 2 heads are better than one is very true!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude. there are many tubes, the main ones would be the blood vessels and the airways. They are very important for helping keep you all moving about!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude I probably run about 1000 miles a year. I just trianed for and ran the London Marathon this year and was beaten across the line by a women in a wedding dress
stuartgray : @hetty123 lots of scientists study biology but many also study things like the environment, engineering and chemistry for example!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude I most experiment on humans so dont do much work in plants. I did do some stuff in my early University years and found it very fascinating!
stuartgray : @1tich1 we all just have one overall immune system in the body but it is made of many many different parts. We have millions of immune cells in our blood to help protect against bacteria and viruses and also proteins in tissues and saliva to help to.
stuartgray : @abigail6995 a very good question. Some people have weak hearts because of their genes (i.e. they get it from their parents) and there is not that much that can be done. Others it is because they do not carry out enough exercise or have a bad diet. These people can change their lifestyle to help this
stuartgray : @gordon If the sun explodes then that would pretty much be the end of the galaxy as we would have not heat to support human life. The gravitational pull of the sun would also be lost. All in all it will be bad news but a long time away, hopefully!
stuartgray : @hetty123 probably not as many people as I would like become scientists. The more we can get the more help we can be!
stuartgray : @trumpetdude there are about 5000000000 red blood cells in a ml of blood so 330 times that. A very BIG number!
stuartgray : @classash I think my research will be useful to medical practitioners who need to know the exact amount of exercise or proper nutrition to advise people to take to help with their health
stuartgray : @hetty123 Being a scientist involves a lot of planning experiments, trying to convince somebody to fund them and then actually carrying out the experiments!
stuartgray : @jadey2412 it feels good to be a scientist. There is a great feeling when you realise you are the first person in the world to discover something!
stuartgray : @classash that is a lot of good questions. Not sure about the skin cells in the bath, but a very large number! Muscles are made of protein, the main ones being actin and myosin.
stuartgray : @jacobr I qualified with my PhD (doctorate) in 2007 so I would say i have been a proper scientist for 5 years!
stuartgray : @akni I think i always have wanted to be a scientist. It was always my favourite subject at school and I think you should get more of it!
stuartgray : @youforgottheblu ebe I never actually remember deciding to become a scientist it just all seemed to fall into place!
stuartgray : @hetty123 I wouldnt say it was easy. it does involve a lot of hard work and study. but it is fun!

I was incredibly impressed by the range of questions the children (y5) asked and how sensibly they took part in the session. It really highlighted to me the importance of  making science relevant and of showing children how science is used in jobs and everyday life. I will wait to see which scientist wins the £500 award...
As I look through the new curriculum in detail I plan to work with colleagues across our cluster schools to shape a curriculum for science that will motivate and enthuse our pupils, that will show them ways that science is used by real people in the local area in the here and now, not just what happened in the past.
I want to make better use of the internet to show how science makes a difference in our lives. 
That is my plan , I'm hoping that my colleagues will want to come along for the journey.

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