CHRISTMAS LECTURES learning

Explore the CHRISTMAS LECTURES further with these exciting activities, great for both schools and families.

  • closeup of Jonathan Van-Tam looking through a biological molecule model

    Jonathan Van-Tam, Christmas Lecturer 2021

    Credit: Paul Wilkinson

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES were introduced nearly 200 years ago, when there was little formal education for children, making them an important opportunity for learning at the time. Today we are building on that history by taking the Lectures from the Ri Theatre and into homes and schools all around the country.

The Ri Youth Summit

Sign your sixth formers up to this free online event on Wednesday 20 October 2021, and help shape the content of this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

Running online for a second year, the Ri Youth Summit is a facilitated discussion developed in partnership with the team at I’m a scientist, get me out of here! Students will watch videos from experts and explore different alternatives for managing pandemics, leading to discussions and debates with their peers.

Then they will vote for what they felt were the most important messages that came up in their discussions, with the conclusions shared with Professor Van-Tam, in turn helping him to include the thoughts of students from around the country into his 2021 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

The Ri Youth Forum is the ideal event for any student with interests across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, giving them a fun and education enrichment opportunity.

Online Q&A and the Ri’s schools debate kits

Shortly after the 2021 CHRISTMAS LECTURES have been broadcast, we’ll open our online Q&A with the scientists featured in the Lectures, and other experts in viruses and pandemics.

Organised in partnership with the team at 'I’m a scientist get me out of here', this student-led enrichment activity gives those aged 10-18 the opportunity to connect directly with experts from medicine, academia and industry, on the subject of this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES

And then in the Spring, we’ll launch our fifth debate kit for schools, with a thought-provoking and engaging question focused on an element of the 2021 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

In 2017 we asked if our smart phones always be listening, while last year we asked if we should ban flying for 10 years? Whatever the 2021 question, our debate kits use characterisation and supporting materials to help students to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adopt a ‘position’ and the confidence to voice an opinion.

And finally, look out for our new CHRISTMAS LECTURES resources packs currently being developed in partnership with STEM Learning.