Say Hello to Our Heroes
Doctors, nurses, first responders, and medical research scientists. What do they all have in common? When the COVID-19 pandemic gripped our fellow Americans and all the citizens of the world, we clearly saw just how important and special all of these people really are.
We need our medical professionals desperately now and we will need even more of them in the future. By completing the COVID-19 Series with your student(s), they may be taking their first step toward becoming one of their heroes. That would be great – let them know it.
Below are four LabLearner Discussions directly applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic. These Discussions were designed to give students important and usable information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. But perhaps they can learn even more as a result of the pandemic. Students will not forget the spectacle of masks, lock-downs, and the tension they sense from their surroundings. Neurocognitive science suggests that the brain’s memory systems act to couple emotional events with other information occurring or associated with them. This is why we so easily remember details associated with intense experiences – good and bad – often for a lifetime. We have a unique teaching and learning opportunity here. All of the scientific and health information included in LabLearner Discussions are accurate and highly relevant to students today. Children love to know the reason why. They want to know what’s going on around them. That’s why children love science.
Do the Discussions in the order given below if possible. For LabLearner teachers and families, curriculum units (CELLs) that are most relevant to the content are indicated at the end of each separate Discussion.
Large and Small
Unfortunately, sometimes the coronavirus is referred to as the “invisible enemy”. Young children don’t necessarily think this means that germs are just so small that we cannot see them with the naked eye. They are as likely to conceive of “invisible” as a real property, as in invisible man or invisible superpowers. An invisible man or invisible superpowers are not real – germs are. Before young children can conceptualize the idea of germs, like bacteria and viruses, they have to come to grips with issues of size.
The good news is that our skin is resistant to viruses. There are no receptors for viruses to bind to on our skin. In addition, the outer layer of our skin, the epidermis, is actually composed of dead skin cells that are constantly being shed and viruses are shed with them. The bad news is that there are three major paths that viruses can take to enter our bodies and start an infection. Viruses need to enter the body through contact with a mucous membrane. The mucous membranes that are easily accessible to viruses on the outside of our bodies are in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Say It, Don’t Spray It!
The best way to deal with a virus like COVID-19 is to make a vaccine against it. Nonetheless, until a vaccine becomes available, you and your child can become actively engaged in stopping COVID-19 through using science and prevention. Every child and adult can help in the fight against COVID-19 by avoiding infection in the first place and NOT spreading it to anyone else. This is prevention. In this LabLearner Discussion, your child will learn about steps they can take to stop the spread of the virus by covering their face when they cough or sneeze.
The final LabLearner Discussion in the COVID-19 Series involves the concept of hand washing and surface cleaning in preventing the spread of germs and disease. You and your child will discuss WHY soap kills germs like COVID-19 based on molecules and chemistry. Similar basic principles are also involved in the effectiveness of hand sanitizers and surface cleaners. Your child will actually do a simple at-home experiment to illustrate just how important soap and warm water are in killing COVID-19 and protecting their health.