Royal Institution Youth Summit

Join us on Wednesday 20 October 2021 for a free virtual event bringing sixth-form and college students from across the country together online to discuss and debate the topics of this year's Christmas Lectures.

  • Credit: Andrew Youngson

What is the Youth Summit?

The Royal Institution Online Youth Summit is a free online one-day event bringing together students aged 16-18 from around the country to discuss and debate the topics of the Christmas Lectures. This year's Online Youth Summit will take place on Wednesday 20 October 2021 using the I'm a Scientist online platform.

The event will explore how people and societies respond and react to pandemics, in particular COVID 19. Discussions in the day will also explore wider societal issues which have surfaced in recent years such as misinformation, fake news and a growing voice for some of those who mistrust science.

Who is the event for?

This event is ideal for any student with interests across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, giving them a stimulating and educationally enriching opportunity as they engage in facilitated text based peer-to-peer discussions with other young people.

Teachers should consider prioritising students who are currently studying STEM subjects who would benefit from an online peer-to-peer debating experience. We encourage schools to prioritise Pupil Premium students where possible.

How to register your interest

To register your interest, visit the Youth Summit page on the I'm a Scientist website as soon as possible, giving us an idea of how many students you would like to enrol:

https://rioys21.imascientist.org.uk

Please note that: 

  • Registrations of interest must be made by teachers

  • Teachers can sign up to a maximum of 30 students per school

  • The event will be held virtually, using the I'm a Scientist platform

  • The event will run from 10.00am to about 15.00pm on Wednesday 20th October

  • Teachers must arrange for students to step away from normal school timetable for the day of the event

  • Students should be supervised during the event as deemed appropriate by your organisation

  • Students must each have access to an online computer or tablet so they can interact in chat rooms.

Online registration process

On 11 October, teachers who have successfully registered an interest in the 2021 Youth Summit will receive an email providing access to the I'm a Scientist platform.

Providing student access to the platform

  • Log in to the site and visit your Dashboard

  • Create a class and download login cards for your students, or send them the unique URL to register themselves

  • You''ll be sent a follow up email with instructions to share about the day

We recommend the online registration is undertaken by the teacher who will be supervising on the day of the event, so they gain familiarity with the platform.

What will happen on the day?

During the summit, students will take part in discussions on the topics which will be explored in this years’ Christmas Lectures – how people and societies respond and react to pandemics. Students will be given a variety of different scenarios to discuss with their peers, and gain a deeper understanding of the topics as they talk through their thoughts and ideas. The Online Youth Summit will be facilitated to create an open and welcoming environment, so everyone feels free to share their thoughts, and examine the ideas of others. 

Student debate will be stimulated by videos from guest experts, as well as example scenarios of how countries responded to pandemics. Students will react and respond to these, discussing certain elements in greater depth. They will then go on to vote for what they felt were the most important messages that came up in their discussions, and what the general points of agreement were. These conclusions will then be shared with the Christmas Lecturer, to help them incorporate the thoughts of students around the country, as they develop their lectures for a TV audience.

Logistics

Schools can set up their students to take part in this event in whatever way suits them best.

Ideally, we would suggest booking a computer suite for the day and have a supervising staff member present from the start at 10am until the finish just before 3pm. This will allow the students to also have face-to-face discussions with their classmates as the online debates progress. Any school who cannot provide this but still wants to take part can arrange for students to take part from home. However, please make provisions for anyone who cannot access the internet to undertake this in school so that no-one is left out.

Safeguarding

Students attending the summit will only interact via text-based chatrooms. There will be no video or audio interaction between students. All chatrooms will be moderated by DBS-checked supervisors.

Lunch and breaks

Screen breaks will be built into the timetable for the day, and there will also be a 1 hour lunchbreak scheduled.

Student preparation

Before the day, students will need to:

  • Click on the link you send them in the email to register and create their profile page

  • Read and consent to our code of conduct

  • Read any materials we send to ensure all students have the same base knowledge of the subjects we’ll be discussing

In collaboration with: