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Public Engagement at Manchester

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here! is back for June. See who from Manchester is involved…

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here! is back from Monday 16 to Friday 27 June.

School students will get to meet and interact with scientists in an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges.

There will be 12 themed zones and five general zones – that’s 85 scientists talking with students from nearly 120 different schools from all around the UK, from Inverness all the way down to St Austell in Cornwall.

But who from the The University of Manchester, is taking part?

In the Diamond Zone … Phillip Manning, School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences: Palaeobiology – “I dig-up very dead things and try and unpick their biology, morphology and mode of preservation.”

In the Infectious Diseases Zone … Peter Elliott, FLS – “I find out how bacteria cause food poisoning”

In the Vision Zone … Michael Kelly, FLS, “I investigate how humans see in the dark or when dazzled by bright lights.”

And if you are wondering what I’m a Scientist is all about, go check out this website:

For the latest updates on the event, follow @imascientist on Twitter, #IAS2014.

Thinking of becoming a STEM Ambassador?

STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. They open the doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities which come from pursuing STEM subjects and careers.

If you’ve been thinking of getting involved in outreach activities with school groups – then becoming a STEM Ambassador might be for you.

In a new series of videos, STEM Ambassadors give you a picture of what is involved in supporting an activity. They share how they got started and where they want to go, as well as sharing some of their tips on preparation and delivery.


Find out more about STEMNET and opportunities for becoming a STEM Ambassador at http://www.stemnet.org.uk

Posted on behalf of Greater Manchester STEMNET

British Council France and Science in Schools – call for outreach proposals

The British Council in France manages the ‘Science in Schools’ programme, which involves UK-based researchers visiting French schools to deliver interactive, engaging and hands-on science workshops in English.

We are looking for people/teams to run new workshops in 2014 throughout France. You will need to be available for one week and, ideally, be a researcher and/or a PhD student with a science background. Your workshop proposal must have been tested and approved in the UK, the Terms and Conditions of the workshops being:

  • The British Council, through French Ministry of Education funds or its own funds, will pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence for a UK team of up to 3 people, plus any products or materials needed (up to a total value of £1000) that are not available in French schools or paid for by other UK sources. Note that the British Council will not be able to cover fees.
  • The workshops will take place in English, and must include hands-on activities for a class of French pupils aged most likely between 14 and 18.
  • The duration of workshops must be between 2 and 4 hours – there may be up to 10 workshops per week in total.
  • Workshops will take place either in schools within a local authority (an “académie”), or in a French University that schools will travel to.
  • Researchers will be accompanied by a British Council staff member throughout the week.

Find out more about the Science in Schools programme.


If you are interested in taking part, please contact Carole Hemard at science.schools@britishcouncil.fr

Interested researchers will need to complete an application form by 31 January 2014, so please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested.

Posted by Roz Cooper, Undergraduate Recruitment and Widening Participation Officer (SUPI), The University of Manchester

Psychology taster day inspires local college students

Through our widening participation activities we inspire college students to study Psychology at the University of Manchester.

As an active psychology department we have a lot to share with AS and A-Level students considering a career in psychology. This was demonstrated on December 18th 2013 when we hosted a ‘psychology taster’ day for 24 students from a local college. We ran a selection of events throughout the day, including a series of mini-lectures delivered by a range of academic psychologists; a “speed-careers” session involving students from both undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes; and an activity where the college students designed a health campaign and subsequently presented it to academic staff.

‘Widening participation’ events such as this, aim to inspire young people from areas with low University attendance to pursue Higher Education. This ‘taster event’ received a lot of Twitter attention, as well as positive feedback from the college teacher, university staff who participated and attending college students. The college students’ comments demonstrate increased awareness of psychology-related careers and University life more generally:

  • ‘I learnt a lot about health psychology and I will use this in my psychology lesson’
  • ‘learnt about what psychology is like in higher education – the wide variety of what we can go on to do’

Finally, we have been asked to provide the session again for the college next year and are already looking forward to the event!

Posted by Debbie Smith, Sam Rowbotham and Simon Kyle. Find out more about the School of Psychological Sciences Outreach Group.

engagement@manchester – Working With Schools

The next engagement@manchester session will focus on Working With Schools and takes place on Wednesday 15 January 2014, 1pm – 2pm, Kanaris Theatre, Manchester Museum.

This month’s event is about working with students and teachers from local schools, and will highlight our RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative projects in particular.


  • Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach and Roz Cooper, SUPI Project Officer, will give an brief overview of the work we do with schools; the SUPI project; and how people can get involved.
  • Dr Jen O’Brien, Lecturer in Human Geography. Jen leads on our Geography@Manchester project with local students and teachers, and other outreach activities in the Geography Department.
  • Dr Jenny Carson, Lecturer in the Humanitarian & Conflict Response Institute. Jenny works on our Tomorrow’s Citizens project, communicating current research to local schools. She has also produced several resource packs on different research areas which teachers can use in their classrooms.
  • Dr Louise Walker, Reader in the School of Mathematics. Louise runs a project with the aim of getting more A-Level students to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in Mathematics. This initiative helps to develops their mathematical modelling and problem-solving skills, and also provides students with the opportunity to attended an associated workshop ran by academics and postgraduate students.

After the short presentations it would be great to have a discussion about your own experiences and cover any questions you have about working with schools and how you can get involved.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact: roz.cooper@manchester.ac.uk

To find out more about engagement@manchester and to catch up on previous sessions visit: www.engagement.manchester.ac.uk