A few months ago, before we were exposed to Sars-Cov-2, I gave a talk to a school: over an hour to get there by train, an 20 minute walk to the school, half an hour waiting (having arrived early so as not to miss the slot), 45 minutes hour to talk to, as it turns out, a dozen students with varying interest in Natural Sciences and another two hours to get home – effectively taking most of the day.
A few weeks ago, the Society for Natural Sciences, now well-adjusted to the pandemic, gave a live online webinar to school students studying from home. We logged on early to meet with over 50 students from across the country, using “chat” function to engage them and were finished in just over an hour. While not all interactions can be online, and face-to-face meetings can be essential in some situations, these new developments allow us all to embrace a far greater reach through the internet – zoom out to a wider audience as it were.
To this end the Society for Natural Sciences has partnered with Channel Talent to deliver a series of outreach webinars. Channel Talent is a live and interactive video conferencing service which links universities and businesses to schools over the web. Channel Talent aims to inform and inspire young people’s choices about their education. Events are free to schools, being sponsored by individual universities or businesses. During the current pandemic especially, where opportunities for school visits and University face to face events are limited, our partnership with Channel Talent will allow the Society for Natural Sciences to continue our outreach work to encourage the study of science across discipline boundaries. Following on from a couple of successful pilots earlier this year, we will be holding six webinars over the course of the next academic year, with webinar subjects including Astrobiology, Fusion Physics, and Carbon Nano-materials.
I’ll be delivering the first webinar on Astrobiology & Natural Sciences: Finding Life On Other Planets & Studying Natural Sciences on September 29 @ 13:00 – 14:00
Details of our all webinars can be found here: https://www.channeltalent.co.uk/events/list/
Dr Sarah Gretton, Society for Natural Sciences External Relations and Communications Lead and Director of the University of Leicester Natural Sciences programme