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Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Christchurch school students learn about the power of microbes

Posted by on 21 October 2014 | Comments

Department staff often have opportunities to get involved with schools and community groups, teaching them about the microscopic world around us. Ros Kemp and Kirsten Ward-Hartstonge visited Hornby High School recently to talk to Year 7 kids about immunology,

Hornby High School is one of the Christchurch schools being used as a test case for intermediate-high school integration. The local intermediate, Branston Intermediate, was closed after the earthquake. The Year 7 class asked to have some “girls scientists” come to talk – their request was granted, along with some fun practical activities that demonstrate microbes in action.

The students played two iPad games: in one they selected the right drugs to kill different types of microbes, and the other challenged them to create a microbe that could kill the world, taking into account spread, infectivity and lethality. There was also a vaccination game, where only the kids with the right vaccine "jandals" could fight off the disease "balls" thrown at them. Only a few of them survived - those who were vaccinated against everything.

Ros and Kirsten also spent some time with the Year 11 and 12 students, telling them about the Hands On Science programme.

Ros and Kirsten in class

Ros and kids