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.