University of Dundee

Tiny Superheroes Bring Home Learning to Life!

05 Jun 2020

A raft of family-friendly activities highlighting the ‘superhero powers’ of microbes have been lined up by University of Dundee scientists to keep children engaged in science during lockdown.

Researchers from the School of Life Sciences are taking over Dundee Science Centre’s Home Learning Programme for five days as of Monday 8 June 2020, supporting parents and carers with home schooling.

The team will be sharing the amazing world of life at the far end of the microscope, looking at the monumental impact of microscopic microbes.

Through a range of fun activities including a scavenger hunt, yeast races, creative challenges and games, children will discover a variety of microbes, from harmful to helpful, how they work and what they do. Using playdough, materials or recycled materials, youngsters will also be challenged to design their own microbe from deciding its role and name to how it will protect itself, with a fantastic science prize up for grabs. As a special treat, a group of Angus children attending the Lemon Tree Nursery in Forfar, which is currently open to support key worker children of all ages, were given a sneak preview of the activities.

Carlene Cura, Development and Fundraising Advisor, Dundee Science Centre said, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this brilliant group of local scientists into our Home Learning Programme. Dundee is fortunate to have a vibrant scientific community where, together, we can share the fascinating and important work going on locally and bring that directly into the homes of families trying to keep their children engaged at this tricky time. Let’s face it, we all love a superhero and can’t wait to see what our home learners make of Microbes Week!”

Nicola Stanley-Wall, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Dundee added, "It’s been a great pleasure to work with members of the Dundee Science Centre team to create these resources. As a parent of an energetic child in primary five, I know only too well how important it is to have accessible resources to help with home schooling."

Diana Gudynaite, a microbiologist added, “Microbes are everywhere, and the oldest living organisms on Earth. Today, we study how they behave and interact with the environment so we can use them to benefit us in everyday life. We are also passionate about finding ways to protect ourselves from harmful microbes. By sharing our activities, we hope to showcase the diversity of the many fascinating microbes around us and inspire youngsters to find out more!”

Microbes Week is part of Dundee Science Centre’s Home Learning programme which offers weekly themed activities for children to complete independently, with simple instructions, in their own time. Free of charge, the programme is packed with fun, interactive, science activities, with videos, worksheets, challenges and weekly competitions.

To support the Home Learning Programme, please email Carlene at carlene.cura@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.

To sign up for the weekly Home Learning Newsletter, please visit https://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/ 

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