Teacher Guidance

Introduction to the activity

Your students take part in a themed activity of your choosing. Themes are matched closely to your curriculum, more general or to celebrate a special event.

During the activity, students: 

  • Learn about up to 30 relevant scientists through their profiles, including their CVs
  • Connect with a diverse range of scientists in 30-minute, text-based, online Chats
  • Deepen their understanding and continue engaging with the scientists by sending follow-up questions
  • Decide which scientist deserves the £500 winner’s prize
  • Review their learning through a facilitated discussion

Booking the activity

Once you’ve signed up, we’ll be in touch with your login details for imascientist.org.uk. If you have signed up but haven’t received your login information, please contact support@imascientist.org.uk.

To run the activity you’ll first need to choose a theme, then book a time and date for your class’s live Chat with scientists.

Choosing a theme

The I’m a Scientist activity can introduce your students to working scientists relevant to a theme of your choosing. There is a wide range of activity themes for you to pick from, including those that cover general science topics, some that link with curriculum teaching, and other, special event themes that run alongside things like British Science Week.

If you’d like to run the activity with multiple classes, you’ll need to book each theme and Chat individually. You can book multiple Chats throughout the school year.  

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How to book your Chat

Once you’ve chosen your theme, you’ll need to book a date and time for your class to connect in real-time, online, with scientists.

  1. Login and go to imascientist.org.uk/book-activity
  2. Select a theme
  3. Choose your date and time. Remember to allow time for your students to login before the Chat starts.
  4. Select a Class, or Create a New Class
  5. After clicking ‘Confirm Booking’, you will get a confirmation email with the next steps

Once you’ve booked your Chat, we’ll send out the date and time to a selection of theme-relevant scientists. The scientists will then respond to the Chat invite to let you know whether they’ll be joining your class. 

You can cancel Chats from your Dashboard. 

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Lesson plans

We have designed a lesson plan, based on the Science Capital Teaching Approach. The lesson plan is based on a 60-minute session. If you’d like to deepen your students’ experience there is also a 3-lesson set of plans

Guidance for cover teachers

I’m a Scientist has been designed so that other teachers can run the Chat for you. Pass on this cover guidance document to them to help explain how to run the lesson.

Learning about the scientists

Once you’ve chosen a theme for your class’s activity and booked your Chat, your students will be able to view the profiles of all the scientists relevant to that theme.

A scientist’s profile will include pictures, information about them and their work, some interview style questions and a small section on work history. The profiles will help students see the diversity of people working in STEM.

You and your students will be able to view the specific scientists who’ve signed up to attend your class’s Chat by visiting the Dashboard.

Connecting in the Chat

The Chat is where your students get to connect with real scientists online. The Chat lasts for 30 minutes and is text-based; there’s no audio or video. 

There are a few things you’ll need to do before your Chat.

IT needs

Arrange for students to have access to IT equipment at the time of the Chat (e.g. book computer suite, laptops, or tablets). I’m a Scientist works best when students have access to their own device. Make sure that school students are able to login on your organisations’ devices.

Important: Inform your IT admin team and ask them to add the websites on this list to your network allowlist

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Give access to students

You’ll need to give your students access so that they can send and read messages in the Chat. To do so:

  1. Login at imascientist.org.uk and go to your Dashboard
  2. Go to /create-class/ to see the list of classes you’ve created
  3. Provide students with the pre-made login cards or the unique registration URL

Taking part in the Chat

In the live Chat students can ask the scientists any questions they like. Chats can be fast-paced and lively, but remember that there will also be a DBS-checked moderator in the Chat, who is there to make sure everything runs smoothly.

When it’s time for your Chat, you and your students need to:

  1. Login at imascientist.org.uk 
  2. Click the Chat button at the top of the page

A moderator will have set the live Chat up for you 5 minutes before it is due to start. Only students in your class can access your booked Chat. If you have any issues call us ASAP on 01225 667 922.

screenshot of a live chat

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Sending follow up questions

Following on from a Chat, students can ask more in-depth questions to scientists within their theme, even if that scientist wasn’t present in the Chat. Students will need to login at imascientist.org.uk to send a question.

If students add an email address to their account, they get an email alert when their question has been answered.

You’re able to see the questions your students have had answered from your Dashboard. Students can also see the questions their peers have asked. Students, teachers and scientists can comment on these questions, sparking wider conversations.

screenshot of a follow up question asked by a student and answered by scientists


Students can Vote for their favourite scientist. At the end of each term, the scientist with the most Votes will win a £500 prize to spend on further STEM engagement.

The scientist’ profiles will explain how they would wish to spend the prize money. After seeking out further information through the Chat and in follow-up questions, students can use critical thinking to make an informed voting decision.

They get a new Vote each fortnight.

Student reflection

After the Chat or at the start of a following lesson, encourage your students to participate in the 5 minute reflection activity to facilitate discussion around their experience. 

Through this assessment tool, students delve deeper into the learning outcomes they have met.

Multiple interventions

I’m a Scientist is suitable for students aged 10 to 18. Studies show that engaging with an activity over multiple interventions is shown to increase students’ aspirations as well as increase the chance of them meeting multiple outcomes at a deeper level.



When your Chat closes you’ll be given the option to download a copy of the transcript. Don’t worry if you close the Chat window – you will also be emailed a link to the transcript at the end of the day.

Student participation certificate

Students are able to download and print their own certificate from their dashboard. However, if you’d rather download the student participation certificate template yourself you can do so here: Download the Participation Certificate ❯

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We’re here to help. If you should have any questions, or need a hand with anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at support@imascientist.org.uk or by calling (+44) 01225 667 922.

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