We launched our I’m a Scientist debate kits on 18th June and have now distributed all 1,500 we printed. We’ve been really pleased by the response from teachers. The next kit will be coming out in the Autumn. We’ve written a report on this first phase of the project and we thought a summary of that may of interest to others, so here you go:-
Project: I’m a Scientist Debate Kits
A Wellcome Trust funded project to distribute structured debate kits to science teachers
18/06/09 Promoted kit by email to our contacts and on twitter
22/06/09 Mailers arrived in 5,000 UK secondary schools
23/06/09 Posted on psci-comm
26/06/09 Featured in Planet Science
01/07/09 1st kits arrived in schools
06/07/09 Posted on TES messageboards
27/08/09 Final kits posted out
- Complimentary kits sent to the 323 specialist science colleges and 177 largest secondary schools plus various IAS contacts (e.g. at BSA, SLCs, ASE) with request to pass info on to teachers who may be interested.
- Ongoing twitter and blog coverage.
- Contact with Aimhigher who agreed to help publicise us to their target schools.
- Attended Wiltshire STEM ambassador event.
- Presentation to student teachers and to their mentors at UWE.
I think it’s clear that the events I’ve highlighted have had the biggest effect on teachers ordering kits. The dates of other interventions did not coincide with a spike. However, other activities, especially word of mouth between teachers, are invaluable and contribute to the long term take up of the kits, but will not give the same sort of spike. We are still seeing new visitors to the site every day with teachers signing up to hear about the next kit.
Online orders: 644
Offline orders: 283 Total: 1450 sent out
50 distributed in person
Additionally 167 people have downloaded the online version.
Schedule for kit 2
31/08/09 Ask teachers for topic suggestions
11/09/09 Email feedback reminder to teachers
14/09/09 Put up topic shortlist for voting
21/09/09 Decide topic for kit 2
………………….Put up info about it and start taking orders
………………….Make any topic-related connections necessary
28/09/09 Start research/writing kit 2
………………….Make decision about whether we produce a mailer for this kit
01/10/09 Meet w mailing house about arrangements for batch 2
05/10/09 Kit 2 to design
07/10/09 Kit 2 to printers
19/10/09 Post out 1st batch kits