Big Data Debate Kit – Evaluation Report



The Big Data Debate Kit was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland.

The kit discusses whether we should sequence the genomes of one million people, to find out more about living longer and healthier lives.

After evaluating it we found out that:

  • 43% of the teachers who requested the kit have used it this school year.
  • 96% of teachers confirmed that their students are now aware of how Big Data can be used in Biology and Biomedicine.

Download the full report here.


Posted on July 28, 2015 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

That new Debate Kit smell…

The first few copies of the Vaccinations Debate Kit have just arrived at I’m a Scientist HQ, and they’ll shortly be making their way to schools across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Sign up now to get your copy!

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Posted on March 25, 2015 Moderator - Josh in News | Leave a comment

Electricity Distribution Debate Kit – Evaluation Report

Click here to read the full report

It’s been a year since we launched our Electricity Distribution Debate Kit. We emailed all the 810 teachers who requested it, and followed them up with reminder emails and letters to collect feedback. We then analysed it and this is what we’ve found out:

  • Hard copies of the kit were sent to 810 teachers who requested them,  687 were sent to STEM Contract Holders, and the rest were distributed among different teacher networks. The kit was also downloaded by 242 different users.
  • We estimate that the kit was used by 29% of the teachers who requested it.
  • Every teacher who filled in the feedback survey found the kit to be an “excellent” or “pretty good” educational resource.
  • 97% of teachers feel their students know more about Electricity Distribution after using the kit.
  • We measured how the students reflected on the issues surrounding electricity distribution and actually changed their minds throughout the debate.

You can read the full evaluation report here (PDF).

Debate kits keep proving themselves as a successful tool to engage students in debates around science topics. We are already sending out our new debate kit on the topic of Vaccinations. Sign up and we’ll keep you posted on these resources!

Posted on March 18, 2015 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

Vaccinations Debate Kit

Should children be required to have all their vaccinations before they can go to school?

Screenshot_031015_051508_PMThis debate kit provides all you need to get your students discussing the issues behind the important topic of vaccinations.

The kit follows our tried and tested format, based on character cards and lesson notes. It includes 8 debate cards outlining the opinions of different fictional characters with an interest in vaccinations, and teacher notes to help you carry out the lesson effectively. The activity is design to last for 50 minutes and takes very little preparation. The debate helps students think through the issues and reconsider their opinions, while the structure shows them hoe to build a discussion and back up their opinions with facts.

There are already plenty of resources looking at whether vaccinations are safe and a good idea — with the science coming down heavily on the side of vaccinations being safe. This debate is about what the best public health policy is, to protect the public, balancing individual freedoms against public health. This leads to a more finely balanced, interesting debate.

The debate kits are free to schools in the UK and Republic of Ireland — Sign up here to receive your copy.

This debate is being funded by e-Bug, a project operated by Public Health England. The kits are distributed in Ireland thanks to funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

Posted on March 17, 2015 Moderator - Josh in News | 1 Comment

The next debate kit

So far we have produced 9 debate kits (listed below) and there is an 10th in production for release next March. So what should the 11th and 12th kit be on?

We want to know what subject areas you would find most useful. Please take 2 minutes to fill in the survey below. What other ideas do you have?

Previous Kits:

  • IVF – Should IVF be available on the NHS?
  • Stem Cells – Should the UK government fund embryonic stem cell research?
  • Are we too clean? – Should we ban advertising of antimicrobial cleaners?
  • Cannabis – Should the UK legalise cannabis?
  • Drugs in Sport – Should ALL drugs be banned in sport?
  • Food Security – Should our school only buy food produced in the UK?
  • Electricity Distribution – Should we build pylons in Kinewell Valley?
  • Big Data – Should we sequence the genomes of one million people, to find
    out more about living longer and healthier?
  • Antibiotic Resistance – Should the Health Services tell GPs to give back-up prescriptions instead of immediate antibiotics wherever possible?
  • Vaccinations – Question TBA

You can download our previous debate kits here.


Posted on November 19, 2014 ModShane in News | Leave a comment