Well, we’ve just about recovered here from the whirlwind two weeks of I’m a Councillor, Get me out of Here! AND the last few weeks of manic organisation before the event. Tbh, we’re in a bit of a post-adrenaline lull, doing all the clear-up with markedly less enthusiasm and pep than we had during the event… OK, that may just be me – Shane says he is full of beans, but you could have fooled me…
Never mind, I shall perk up again when we start planning for ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!’, which the lovely Wellcome Trust have given us lots of money to develop a pilot for. It’s going to be great – the format is perfect for science engagement on all sorts of levels…
Anyway, in the meantime, I wanted to share a few highlights of the last fortnight.
My fave questions
1. Do you think it would be possible to have elephants as a form of public transport in Waverley?
2. Why are school dinners so expensive but there not very nice?
3. I used to think that being a councillor would be a boring job. But through Im a councillor get me out of here i see that it isnt would you agree?
4. Why are young people like us from estates, often shown in such a negative light by some of the media? On Sandy Hill we raise money every year for charities, including a project in Gambia, we achieve lots and are often in the local newspapers for what we do, but people still don’t think very highly of us.
1. Getting the ‘International’ section off the ground.
We had local politicians or activists from Burma, Nepal, Sweden, Jordan and USA, all telling British young people about their countries. The American guy got asked about gun ownership and climate change, the Swedish guy got asked about Sven… And strangely, everyone got asked about what bikes they have in their country, by one (obviously bike mad) young person.
Hopefully it got young people seeing beyond the headlines, to the fact that international politics happens to real people, they just happen to be far away… If you’ve watched the news, it doesn’t surprise you that Myo Thein was tortured in Burma. But it sticks in your mind that his favourite band is Take That.
Hopefully, next year, now we’ve had the practice, it’ll be bigger and busier.
2. Alex Perkins in Canterbury
We don’t play favourites at IAC, but the moderators couldn’t help warming to Cllr Perkins. From his Hawaiian-shirted profile pic (he has three identical shirts – they are his favourite), to his random Douglas Adams quotations, Cllr Perkins was an unflaggingly cheerful and friendly presence, although he still dealt sensitively and thoughtfully with serious questions. He probably put in more hours in live chat than any other councillor in the event, and certainly told more jokes. We’re still wondering if his reference to starting the morning with saxophone practice was rude or not…
3. The positive feedback from teachers, councillors and young people.
"Just used the live chat and what a success. The pupils (all lower band year 10s) absolutely loved it."
"This is one heck of an experience…lovin it."
"ithink this was a reli gd idea i fink i mite get in2 politics a bitmore u guys r reli listenin 2 us even tho sum of us r sayin silly stuff thanks guys"
Awww, makes it all worthwhile, eh?
Now, back to that spreadsheet…