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Space Invaders science workshop wows primary school children

Primary school children were wowed and excited by a ‘Space Invaders’ science workshop delivered by the Proudfoot lab’s Sue Mei Tan-Wong and Claudia Riberio de Almeida at St Nicholas Primary School in Marston on 16 March. 

The microbiology and immunology workshop delivered to year 4 and year 6 pupils was part of British Science week, the annual ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. The theme this year was ‘Space for science: Sciences in spaces’ involving a variety of stimulating and interactive events UK wide from 11- 20 March. 

Explaining the concept behind the Dunn School’s ‘Space Invaders’ workshop, Sue Mei said:“We started the workshop with the reminder of the awesome computer game, Space Invaders. Did that excite the children! Lateral thinking led us to contemplate our bodies as spaces; a natural space packed full with nutritious resources that bugs would love to invade! We impressed on them the importance of handwashing to help with our first line of defence, our skin, by demonstrating how bugs can grow exponentially but can be vastly limited by handwashing.”

The event also involved an immunology game to show the children how our body protects us and topics such as killer T cells, B cells, macrophages, vaccination and antibiotics were tailored to be age appropriate to maximise understanding. 

Sue Mei said: “We had a 5 minute Q&A with the older children and we were impressed with how much they took in!”  

Commenting on the reaction of the younger children, Lime Class year 4 teacher, Gráinne Johnson said: “The children really enjoyed the Space Invaders session and were so interested and engaged in the changes that had taken place in the petri dishes. It contributed to the development of their scientific questioning as well as their classification skills as they grouped bacteria and viruses during one of the activities.” 

Visit the British Science Week website to find out more and how you can be involved next year.