How to bring Immunology to schools - a best practice report for a school lab
Elisabeth Jurack – University of Bonn. Germany
Annette Scheersoi – Technical Methodology Biology, University of Bonn Germany
Presently in Germany immunology education in schools rarely involves any hands-on or first-hand experiences. Rising numbers of non-vaccinated children and adults are presenting a high risk of once eradicated infectious diseases coming back. To teach young students about the immune system and how lab-work is being done in an immunological environment, we established from scratch a school lab called ‚ImmunoLogisch’. This development was part of the MultiCO project funded by the European Commission. It includes partners working together from five countries: UK, Finland, Estonia, Germany and Cyprus. The main aim is to promote the students’ interest in science, their engagement in science learning and their awareness of science careers. The school lab is located in a lab building at the campus of the University Hospital Bonn. It consists of two parts: first lab work by conducting an experiment dealing with measles and second a part where the students learn about the day of a technician in the lab with a video in selfie-style and a tour in the biggest lab on campus with over 40 technicians working in it. The students are drawn to the topic in the beginning by starting with building a scenario of a measles outbreak in which they should provide help. The school lab finishes with a discussion about vaccination. Next to the topic of immunology, students are as well being educated about scientific methods and good scientific practice in the lab.
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