Drugs in Sport Debate Kit


Project aims:

The overall goal of our Debate Kit projects is to provide simple-to-use and effective debate kits to support the post-2006 GCSE curriculum call for more debate and discussion in science. The kits give teachers everything they need to run a debate on a set contentious topic and help their students develop discussion skills. We had already created 4 debate kits, and this project was to create a fifth on the topic of Drugs in Sport, funded by The Physiological Society.


We aimed to distribute the kit to 1,500 teachers around the UK, including those on the I’m a Scientist list of science teachers and Heads of PE at specialist sports schools and colleges. We also planned to give 250 kits to The Physiological Society for them to distribute.

Summary of activity:

We distributed hard copies of the kit to 1,777 teachers around the UK, including to those who requested them on our lists, 250 from specialist sports colleges and 250 heads of science at Irish schools, exceeding our objective. We gave 150 kits to The Physiological Society for distribution.

Evaluation approach:

We asked teachers to fill out a feedback survey and gathered responses from both self-selecting responders who voluntarily provided feedback and from randomly selected responders who we contacted again for a response. We sent out emails with the option to click YES or NO in answer to the question ‘Did you use the Sport Debate Kit sent to you earlier this year?’, and these clicks led to pages inviting the teachers to give further feedback. This approach ensured a more robust summary of how many kits were used, as we weren’t just relying on self selecting respondents.

What went well:

1. The kit was very popular with teachers - we printed 2,000 copies and the demand for them exceeded our expectations

2. We estimate that overall 60% of the debate kits will be used within the year

3. All the teachers who responded said they would recommend the kit to their colleagues, and 90% plan to use it again themselves

4. All of the teachers agreed that their students now know more about drugs in sport and 79% thought their students now have more confidence in their opinions

What was learned:

1. The kit raised awareness of drugs in sport, but we don’t know whether it raised awareness of physiology, as we didn’t specifically ask the teachers this

2. Only 48% of randomly selected responders got back to us, despite following this up

3. Teachers are looking for high quality resources that fit in with teaching the science curriculum

Top tips and advice for others

1. Working with scientists and teachers in creating this resource ensured that it was accurate and relevant

2. Teachers are more likely to provide feedback when it is quick and easy to do - as with our tracking of YES/NO clicks in emails

3. Once you’ve found a formula that works - like the debate kits - don’t be afraid to replicate it over and over again!

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