Ask a scientist to (virtually) come to your home

How is a snail’s shell formed?
How does a CT scanner work?
In what ways are humans likely to evolve over the next ten thousand years?
Could human waste be a source of renewable energy?

How often do you use the Internet to answer a mind-niggling question or to sate your curiosity? Reminding yourself of an actor’s name as you watch a film. Googling a country you plan to visit one day. Researching a topic you are trying to teach through home schooling. The chances are that you will type a question into a search engine at least once today.

Who, what, when, where, why and how? Questions keep us all invigorated and, thankfully, the Internet is always there to jog our memories or to fill the gaps in our knowledge.

However, in the current climate, where contact with people outside our immediate family is minimal, we are reminded that nothing beats talking to someone. And if we are keen to keep learning, nothing beats talking to someone who is interesting and interested, has specialist knowledge, can answer our questions face to face and can explain things in the personal way that a piece of online text just can’t.

So, here’s a brilliant resource for you: Skype a Scientist. Usually only available to teachers for use in their classrooms, this unique service is now available to families in their homes. In your quest to help your children explore the world beyond the confines of your house, you can chat to a scientist live and ask them about whatever fascinates you and your children. A personal Q & A session with someone brimming with fascinating knowledge to impart could certainly add an extra dimension to your kitchen-based lessons!

Skype a Scientist has scientists located all over the world, keen and ready to talk to you and to answer your specific questions. All you need is an Internet connection and a video chat account (such as Skype or Zoom) and to complete the online form:

If you are a teacher, the organisation’s website also includes teachers’ resources, lesson plans and links to their Instagram page – lots to support you and to stimulate your students as part of their distant learning.

What questions will you and your children ask?