Mike Munroe RCSA president (centre) with year 12 and 13 students from St Joseph’s College, Ipswich after his talk. David Kemsley (far right) St Josephs Student Futures Advisor and Simon Stevenson Chemistry Teacher and Head of Year 12 (far left)

We can all agree that outreach is a laudable activity. In the RCS context, outreach is primarily the practice of visiting and interacting with young people who might not otherwise come across the full story of the wonders of science, or might not appreciate the potential of science for a fulfilling tertiary education leading to a rewarding and remunerative career. These young people might also need some guidance with their choices of GCSE and ‘A’ level subjects to ensure they meet the pre-requisites for the degree course they aspire to. And of course, a few pointers in case their chosen institution might be Imperial College, may not go amiss either.

But outreach also encompasses the more general public, assisting the ‘man in the street’ with his/her appreciation and understanding of science.

Our members tell us they think outreach is important, the College and our faculty are always urging the Association and our members to assist in their their outreach efforts, and our student members get actively involved in outreach also. So it is little surprise that your Association is keen to expand our outreach activities and that we support outreach in a number of ways……

RCSU Science Challenge

The RCSU Science Challenge (which started life as the RCSA Science Challenge of course, back in 2006) is an important outreach activity the the RCSA founded, funded and nurtured. The 2024 RCSU Science Challenge includes ‘The RCSA Question’ judged by RCSA President, Mike Munroe. It is….

“You are the head of a UK based vaccine development group when a new virus is discovered that is more infectious and more lethal than the recent Covid19 virus. Tell us about some of the issues and challenges you will face (which might involve research, production, clinical trials and communications) and how you will try to resolve them to accelerate the launch of a safe and effective vaccine.”

If you are eligible to enter, or if your kids are eligible to enter, you’d better get cracking – the submission deadline is Friday 26 April 2024 at 17.00 and we hope to see you at the awards ceremony on Friday 21 June 2024.

Great Exhibition Road Festival

You’ll always find the Association, and a stack of our members, in attendance at the Great Exhibition Road Festival. This year the Festival takes place on the 15th and 16th June 2024 and we hope to see you there.

The Festival runs alongside the ‘Alumni Weekend’, so not only is it a great way to support our outreach efforts, it is also a great occasion for networking amongst your peers. If you drop into the Alumni Lounge, look out for our RCSA banner and a bunch of fellow Association members. You can read about some of our past involvement in the Festival here, here and here.

Schools Outreach Pack

The RCSA and FoNS would like to support and encourage any members who wish to arrange presentations to to their old school or to schools in their local areas.

We have a tried-and-tested template that you may choose to follow whereby the careers part of the talk can be tailored to your own area of expertise. Compelling wraparound content, that Simon Foster, Faculty Outreach Manager at FoNS or the Association can provide to you, completes the presentation.

You can read about a successful talk (pictured above) using the ‘Schools Outreach Pack’ and given to about eighty sixth-formers here….

The Association, and Simon Foster, Faculty Outreach Manager of FoNS, are available to help and support members with appropriate presentation material. If you are interested, please get in touch either via contact@rcsa.org.uk or direct to Simon Foster at simon.foster1@imperial.ac.uk.