Free debate kit to accompany the 2019 Royal Institution Christmas lectures

We live in an era of big data and a time in which more and more of our lives are computer controlled. This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, entitled Secrets and Lies, will explore suspicious statistics, engineering meltdowns and deadly data. Lecturer Hannah Fry will ask questions such as do algorithms have too much control over our privacy? Could A.I. decide if someone lives or dies?

Should our town centre be for self-driving cars only?

IOP Affiliated Schools can order a debate kit which provides all you need to run a science-based classroom discussion. It centres on the societal and ethical issues surrounding the question: Should our town centre be for self-driving cars only?

The kits are free and were commissioned by the RI, produced by I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here! and funded by the IOP. The kit shows students how to build a discussion and back up their opinions with facts. Based on character cards and lesson notes, the activity takes very little preparation and is designed to last around 50 minutes. Additional resources include an interactive quiz, a lesson PowerPoint, a student competition and further reading and references on character’s facts.

Students who got involved in the IOP’s Big Data Zone on this year’s I’m a Scientist discovered how algorithms help us model the structures of galaxies, discover far-away planets, develop new weather models and predict earthquakes.


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