Skype a Scientist Pro Tips: Getting in Touch with the Teacher

Speak to the teacher you have been matched with on the phone, and ask the following questions:

  • Why did you request a scientist?  Why did you request an archaeologist?
    • Some may surprise you with what they do and don’t know about your field!
  • Have you done Skype a Scientist before? Has your class spoken to other scientists?
    • Some teachers request multiple types of scientists at once for a series of conversations—it’s helpful to know if this is what they have planned.
  • How many students do you have in your class?
  • What format do you think would work best?
    • Most teachers will want an introduction first; some will give the students an introduction to who you are ahead of time; some will want each child to ask one question, while others will let anyone raise their hand; some may want to collect questions ahead of time and send them to you
  • How much (if anything) do the students already know about my field or research area?

Depending on students’ prior knowledge of your research area, you may wish to ask if you can send resources for the class to watch or read ahead of time. You may also wish to send a personal website or a video featuring you.

By the end of the call you’ll want to schedule a time and decide on a platform (Google Voice, Facetime, Zoom, Skype…). Also, plan to briefly test out the selected platform with the teacher in advance.

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