Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Spotlight ABR Updates

Hey guys! I've been doing a bunch of stuff lately for the antibiotic resistance project (Spotlight ABR). As I mentioned, I made a website for it at, and over the last month I've talked to hundreds of students about antibiotic resistance and what everyone can do for public health. 

Between mid-May and mid-June, I visited four schools (one secondary, three primary) and talked to fourteen classes of students on the 18th (the day after my college exams finished) and 22nd of May and 9th and 12th of June; two in Louth, one in Kildare and one in Dublin. 


I visited Kildare Town Community School the day after my college exams finished and talked to three classes of fifth year Biology students about antibiotic resistance. I had fun preparing for it and it was cool to get to go into more depth with the older students. It was also really nice when a student came up to me afterwards asking for my advice about doing science in college. 


I took a trip over to Togher three days later and talked to their 4th, 5th and 6th class students. They were great because they asked loads of questions, lots throughout the talk and then also dozens of questions at the end. They were good questions as well, ones that showed they'd understood what I was saying and were curious to learn more. They also participated really well and volunteered to answer my questions for them. One thing I learned was to reassure the students that the presence of trillions of bacteria inside us does not mean they need to be germaphobic.

I didn't want to take pictures of the workshops because child protection but I think a teacher from one of the schools took one so I'll put that up if I get it.


Walshestown is another local school that were great with questions. I talked to their 5th and 6th class and ended up staying for an hour despite the session normally taking forty minutes because they had so many questions. Good fun, and nice to visit local schools.


Most recently, I visited a primary school in Blanchardstown and talked to seven of their classes. The teachers told me it was a disadvantaged school and it was cool that the students got to see a scientist. One touching moment was when I was leaving the school to grab lunch and a kid who'd been sitting in the front for one of the talks and asked lots of questions came up to me and hugged me twice and said she was so happy and interested because "I finally got to learn about bacteria!". She goes by "Fox", wants to be a vet and is adorable. 

One part the Blanchardstown kids were really interested in was when I told them there are about 40 trillion bacteria in the human body -- I got them to put up their hands and guess, with guesses typically starting around 5000 and eventually getting up to the trillions. The gasps when I wrote out the number of zeros on the board were funny. 


So that's been going well. Schools are closing for the summer now, so I'm booking schools for September (form to book a workshop here) and working on the website for the summer. 

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