Friday, 20 September 2019

Becoming a pre-scientist pen-pal

Letters to a Pre-scientist is a program which connects scientists to students to help encourage engagement in science and explore science careers, it involved writing one letter every 3 months over a period of a year.

I signed up to the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program in July 2019 and before I knew it I was matched with a pen-pal and received my first letter in September. I was matched with a 10 year old boy from California who has special reading and writing needs but who is interested in science. He described how much he loves panthers and jaguars, and he wanted to know about my career and how he too can be a scientist (or work for the SWAT team, because they are cool too and it’s important to have options). I wanted to make my letter fun, so included lots of illustrations to help illustrate what I was talking about, and I tried to link to his interests like video games, explaining how many of the Pok√©mon are based on actual animals.

So far I’m enjoying being part of this scheme and looking forward to receiving my next letter. This scheme enables students to build one to one connections with a scientist, understanding they are just normal people and science is more fun and accessible than what is taught in school or shown on TV, which I think can be really meaningful.

If you too want to become a pen-pal to a student, you can find out more here: