Ring-a-Scientist gives you the possibility, to bring a researcher live into your classroom via a video conferencing call.
This can be done in two simple steps:
- Go to Browse Profiles to choose a researcher who fits into your planned classroom lesson.
- Choose "Contact this scientist". You will be redirected to a contact form. Briefly describe what you wish to cover in the video conferencing call and suggest a date and time.
What happens next?
The researcher will get in touch with you as soon as possible. In an (optional) brief test call you will get to know each other, agree on the content of the call and make sure the technical stuff works (e.g. using Skype, What's app). Then all is set for an exciting lesson. If you need any support, don't hesitate to contact us.
Frequently asked questions
For what types of lessons does it make sense to use a video conferencing call?
The following types of calls have been tested and positively evaluated:
- Conversations about possible career paths, especially with younger students. It can be useful to collect some questions in advance.
- Virtual laboratory tours for natural science subjects, especially if the scientist can show equipment that has been introduced in earlier lessons.
- Insights into current research, especially if the students can discover connections to their curriculum.
- Debates about ethical questions.
- Expertenbefragungen, zum Beispiel wenn Schüler im Rahmen eines Seminarprojekts auf Fragen stoßen.
I am unsure if the internet connection in my school is reliable enough. What can I do?
Unstable connections can be frustrating. We hope that this will improve quickly over the coming years. Until then it may help to connect via ethernet cable instead of WIFI or to use the computer room. It may be worth to consider purchasing a LTE router. In any case, a test call is highly recommended - either with the scientist or with us.
I am teaching at a primary school. Can I participate?
Unfortunately, we do not have any experience regarting video conferencing calls with primary school students. If you would like to try it and if you can find a suitable scientist, that is great. We would be pleased to hear how it goes.
How challenging is it to set up a video conferencing call from a technical point of view?
You will only need a computer with internet access. If you do not want to install any software (e.g. Skype), the researcher will just provide you with a link. By clicking on it, you will automatically launch the video conferencing call. Everything else is optional: If there are many students in your class, it may be useful to connect speakers. If available, it may be nice to use a projector. Additionally, you can use a webcam, so that the scientist can see your students.