A labour of love

7th September 2007 at 01:00

Ages 11 and over

The condom Olympics enable pupils to learn about the safety limits of prophylactics in a novel way, and can be suitable for any secondary year group.

Use a circus of experiments, such as the exploding condom demonstration.

Ask pupils to rub different substances onto the surface of a blown-up condom. Give some oil-based and others water-based lubricants, and others moisturising creams. After a minute or so, the condoms covered with oil-based lubricants should burst, but those with water-based ones will not. This shows that only water-based lubricants are safe for use with condoms.

Try challenges such as how many paperclips can you pick up with a condom over your hand? (This shows how much you can feel through a condom). How much water can a condom hold before bursting? (This shows how strong they are). And how fast can you put a condom on a condom demonstrator after being spun around and blindfolded? (This shows how you need to be sober to use a condom effectively).

It is important to reinforce the message that although this is quite a fun lesson, it conveys very serious messages about protecting yourself from STIs and unwanted pregnancy

Alice Smith is head of PSHE at a north London comprehensive

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