Chat With Scientists

Chat Voi Nha Khoa Hoc is an online schools science engagement project which aims to increase school students’ aspirations to study science, help them better understand how science works, and perhaps encourage them to become scientists themselves.

Background

Like school students everywhere, Vietnamese children are curious and have lots of questions about science. However, it’s often culturally inappropriate to question adults directly and so an online space for discussion, where students can ask as many questions as they want, is a great solution.

With the desire to develop new ways of engaging school students with science, including more remote schools, we have introduced the web-based engagement platform  Chat Voi Nha Khoa Hoc̹ (Chat With Scientists). We hope that these activities increase school students’ interest in science, build trust in scientific research and inspire them to consider scientific careers.

Chat Voi Nha Khoa Hoc̹ (Chat With Scientists) is a web-based engagement platform for secondary school students and scientists to interact with each other. CVNKH is modelled on the U.-based project “I’m a scientist, get me out of here̹” (Gallomanor Ltd) which is now held in 7 countries, and was officially started in Vietnam in 2015.

During the two-week event, students log into the website chatvoinhakhoahoc.vn to ask questions around the theme of each ‘]one’, join live chat sessions with the 5 participating scientists, and at the end of the week – vote for scientist that they like the most. The winning scientist receives a monetary prize which they can use to run another science activity for schools.

Students are joining live chat sessions with the scientists.

What we do

Recruit schools and scientists

Based on feedback from science teachers at participated schools we select a scientific theme or ‘zone’ and then invite five expert scientists to join the project. These are Vietnamese scientists who may be based in the country or overseas.

Running the event

A few weeks before kick-off the science teachers run introduction activities for students. Events starts on a Monday and finish at 5pm on Friday of the 2nd week. At this point, the votes are counted and the winning scientist is announced.

Delivering the schools engagement prize

After the events we work with the winning scientist to use their schools engagement prize which encourages them to carry out their own public engagement ideas.

Highlights

  • The 8 zones held from 2015-2017 were Infectious Diseases, Biomedical Science, Health Science and Life Science, Crop Science, Food Science, Environmental Science, Antibiotic Resistance;
  • 41 scientists, 35 schools and 1331 students have participated.