Are you an educator looking to connect with a plant scientist? Let us know here!

  • Are you an educator looking to connect with a plant scientist? Let us know here!

    Posted by Plantae Community on April 30, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    If you are interested in meeting a plant scientist to ask questions or if you would like to set up a call for them to meet your students, let us know in this discussion feed.

    Alan Wanke replied 1 year, 2 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mariana Schuster

    August 4, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Great initiative Katie!
    As a scientist, I found Skype a Scientist ( a great platform for connecting with educators and setting up calls. It is super simple to access and educators and scientist can e-mail and design the kind of session they prefer.
    I also like the fact that is open for the whole world and that the sessions do not have to be done in English. As a scientist, you list the languages you speak and educators can choose accordingly. I have been supporting this initiative for several years now and am happy to answer any questions about it 😃

  • Alan Wanke

    August 20, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Mariana, thanks for offering you expertise here 🙂 Since a long time I am indeed thinking about giving “Skype-a-Scientist” a go. I really love the idea of reaching out to pupils to get them enthusiastic about plants, but also to “demystify” as well as confirm some of the sterotypes towards scientists. Since it sounds like you already had a couple of session, I would be happy to hear about your experience in regards to the preparation as well as the sessions as such. In particular, here a couple of thoughts from my side:

    • How did your Skype-a-Scientist sessions look like? Do teachers approach you already with certain concepts, or did you develop them by yourself?
    • How much time did you invest in preparation? Did you get any support (by e.g. skype-a-scientist, teachers etc)?
    • How long were those sessions and how did they look like in your case?
    • Would like to share a personal highlight? I could imagine you run into many unexpected situations during those sessions 🙂

    Looking forward to your feedback & many thanks in advance!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Alan Wanke.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Alan Wanke.
    • Mariana Schuster

      August 24, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Alan!
      Thank you for your enthusiasm and questions! you should definitely give it a go! and now that the new school year is starting it is a good time to sign up 😉 regarding your questions:
      1. I have had several sessions all of them different. In rather few cases the teachers have had a concrete subject/concept for me to work on. The only concrete topic that many have is: How do oy became a scientist? When the teachers want me to suggest a topic. I generally go for a session aimed to fight plant blindness 😉
      2. Preparation and support. I have not received support from skypeascientist or the teachers for the preparation of the sessions. I have engaged in training (teaching, outreach) myself and those are the tools I use for preparing the sessions. I ask the teachers for feedback after the sessions. That has been really useful! Regarding time: As in “general teaching” the preparation of the sessions at the beginning takes a couple of hours. Now I have a little portfolio of sessions and can prepare one in about 15 min.
      3. My sessions have been from 30 to 60 min. That depends on the teacher/class and is agreed in advance.

      4. Now to my personal highlight! I really like when the kids show me their plants at home! some of them take care of them and are super proud! some others are now curious and leave the session wanting to water them and see them grow/flower.
      Let me know how your sessions go Alan and have fun 🙂

      • Alan Wanke

        September 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

        Thanks Mariana for your comprehensive feedback, I’ll definitely give it a go sometime soon! 🙂