IRL Hub presents
Understanding Science: Investigating Vaccines & Viruses
with Alanta Colley
This is a special showcase session is presented free of charge to support Melbourne schools in the middle of a new lockdown (schools from elsewhere are still welcome).
Subject area: Science
General age suitability: Years 9 – 10 (approx. 14 to 16 years old)
This particular session is for: Years 9 & 10
Curriculum references: Download the PDF Workshop overview matched with syllabus criteria (NSW, VIC, and Australian Curricula are listed) from the IRL Hub workshop here.
Resources: This workshop involves resources to provide to students prior to the workshop. Post-workshop, teachers are provided with recap notes about the workshop and suggested extension activities to use with their class independently.
This workshop and Covid-19:
Covid-19 is obviously a prominent issue for everyone right now. This workshop is general in nature and doesn’t directly discuss Covid-19, but we do hope it gives students improved confidence to understand and engage with information they may come across in day-to-day discussion. This workshop isn’t a substitute for educating participants about the latest, current health advice. We will provide links to the current advice from the Australian and Victorian Health Departments, and the WHO. These references are also included in the accompanying resource kits.
Being able to understand and apply scientific approaches is key to understanding the world. As the values and needs of society change, science can help solve relevant problems – but only with robust and data driven investigation and experimentation.
Alanta is a comedian, science communicator and storyteller from Melbourne with first class Honours in History, and a Masters degree in International Public Health.
Alanta has worked for the United Nations in Cambodia, as well as in health education in Timor Leste, Kenya and Uganda; mostly focused on HIV and malaria prevention programs. As a comedian, she’s toured nationally with her science comedy debate series ‘Sci Fight’, and performed her comedy shows (which predominantly covers bees, parasites, and poo) at comedy festivals across Australia. Alanta was a recipient of the ‘Inspiring Australia’ Science Arts Grant in 2019, and is a regular guest on ABC radio.
In this workshop, using the history of viruses and vaccines as a case study, Alanta gives students the chance to understand the importance of developing hypotheses, gathering and analysing data, and how results from experiments can be effectively communicated.
Viruses are much older than humans are; at 1.5 billion years ago they evolved; when humans are a spritely 2-6 million years old. In fact; about 8% of human DNA comes from viruses! But what are they? Are they living or dead? Are they all bad? And how do they work?
The second part of this workshop will challenge students to gather data and build hypothoses as they take on the role of contract tracer.
In the first part of this workshop, Alanta covers some of the basics about what a virus is; how it works, and how it ends up in a cell in the human body. It also explores why some viruses spread quickly around the world, while others appear and disappear just as quickly.
The workshop will quickly cover some examples of viruses that have come and gone in human history, and why they spread or didn’t spread. This will include looking at the different routes of transmission; such as oral/faecal, contaminated food, animal to human and airborne. We understand how human behaviour impacts the spread of a virus. Briefly, Alanta will explain what a vaccine is and what the medical establishment needs a vaccine to do before they can give the green light for millions of doses to be shipped around the world.
The second part of the workshop looks at how we respond to a virus that causes harm. How does the global medical community discover we have a new virus? Why is it important to know where a new virus came from?
In this part of the workshop, Alanta will give small groups of students a simple case study. Using a variety of provided sources, students will be asked to look at the effects of a new virus causing people’s hair to turn pink (Capilli Rubesco Virus). Students will have to identify, investigate, and analyse data and its reliability to find ‘patient zero’. Alanta will then bring the students back to discuss the different methods and results students have used.
An extended version of this exercise will be provided as an additional resource for teachers to use in more detail with their classes following the workshop.
TIME & DATE
This workshop has available sessions:
This is a special showcase session presented free of charge to support Melbourne schools in the middle of a new lockdown (schools from elsewhere are still welcome). Tickets for this event are free, but the capacity is limited to 125 participants (approx. four classes) so bookings are still essential.
Tickets must be booked by the supervising teacher for themselves and number of students in their class (plus any other supervising teachers or teacher’s aides). If you need to amend your booking numbers, you can contact IRL Hub directly up until the day before the workshop.
During the booking process, you will need to provide contact details for another point of contact at your school in case we need to verify any details. Using your .edu email address during the booking process is preferred for this reason.
As IRL Hub does not collect or store any data of students, teachers will need to send details about this workshop on to their students in order to access the online workshop and its resources.
HOW TO ACCESS THE EVENT & IRL HUB’S POLICIES
This is a group video conference on Zoom for school bookings only.
The booking contact will be sent the pre-workshop resources within a day of booking. These resources give teachers and students an introduction to the presenters and subject matter.
The login instructions will be sent to the booking contact the day before the workshop to pass on to students.
You can download a simple PDF outlining IRL Hub’s document on how to use Zoom for schools, and all of IRL Hub’s policies and compliance documentation from https://irlhub.com.au/about/policies-compliance/
QUESTIONS & ENQUIRIES
If you have any questions or enquires, please contact Carrie Hardie or Toby Sullivan via firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT IRL HUB
For more information about IRL Hub, visit https://irlhub.com.au