During this school year, the science department within the Middle Years Program (MYP) has taken the opportunity to use the current pandemic as a series of teachable moments. Students in Y6, Y7 and Y8 learned about the fascinating science behind the coronavirus, such as its structure and function, the inner workings of the human immune system, as well as the technology behind the various available vaccines.
The goal was to make the students aware of the importance of science and scientists work throughout this pandemic, and the worldwide effort that occurred to bring safe and effective vaccines that can help keep people safe and boost immunity against the coronavirus.
Students were encouraged to ask questions, raise doubts and find answers. In all year groups, teachers guided students as to how to navigate the internet to find credible sources that communicated the latest research based on scientific evidence such as the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention.
Students then presented their findings in person or in a video format. The Y7 students went a step further by holding a class discussion afterwards to clarify any misconceptions. On the psycho-emotional side, Y6 students shared their feelings about their time in lockdown and discussed what they believe will be the short and long-term socio-economic effects the coronavirus has on individuals and societies. As a result, many misconceptions were clarified, questions were answered and students came out more empowered with the tools they developed and the knowledge they gained.
In Y8, students took a closer look at the inside of cells and learned how the coronavirus uses and manipulates the cell’s machinery to duplicate and infect more cells. They also became aware of the scientific processes involved in the battle between the coronavirus and the human immune system. Statements like: ‘it’s mind-blowing, it’s scary, it’s complicated` were heard by students during this time.
We ended the topic by inviting a St. Peter’s parent and community pharmacist, Mrs. Silvia Muñío to speak virtually about the various vaccines available, and their efficiency rates. Students asked many questions that our speaker was happy to answer.