Outreach activity : “aDDRess visits my School” - Friday December 4, 2015
The "aDDRess visits my School" outreach activity was organized and sponsored by the Coordinator of the ITN aDDRess Network (FORTH IMBB). The activity was held on Friday December 4, 2015 and visited a sixth grade classroom at the elementary school at Gournes, Heraklion, Crete. The activity was organized by the aDDRess ITN fellow (Kyriacos Agathagellou), aDDress Project Manager (Eugenia Tabakaki) volunteers, (staff from the IMBB, FORTH) and the schools Biology teacher.
The sixth-grade education program focuses on topics that follow the standard educational program of Biology.
Our principle aim was to help increase their understanding about:
• the key scientific concepts important in Biology
• explaining the importance of our work, as a Network
• enhance their knowledge by attempting their own hands on experiments.
The activity consisted of an introductory talk, interactive games, demonstrations, experiments and observation of plant and animal cells with a microscope.
We firstly, visited the classroom, introduced ourselves and the Network. We than used fun, hands-on projects to talk about basic concepts related to Biology, asked questions, made observations with the microscope, and conducted experiments during α three hour session.
We worked in three small groups rotating between three different microscope -observation projects and hands on experiments.
• Pupils isolated, stained and observed their own cells from the oral mucosa and plant cells from an onion.
• They observed E. coli bacteria and collected their own surface sampling swab. They observed already prepared tissue samples and observed chromosomes under the microscope. Emphasis was placed on the importance of DNA as our genetic material. All kids enjoyed themselves by learning the full scientific name for DNA "deoxyribonucleic acid" and had the chance to precipitate and observe a "cloud" of DNA in a tube.
• Cryopreservation and the importance of storing cells was the third activity. Frozen sperm was defrosted and observed under the microscope. The procedure of freezing was also demonstrated by the organizers.
All the pupils in the classroom learned that living organisms contain DNA: from bacteria to plants, animals, and humans. DNA is stored in the cell's nucleus and can be extracted using a few simple steps.
At the end of the program pupils answered the "cell quiz".
A special thanks to :
Theodosia Bitzou and Theodoros Kosteas for making this activity possible, their help was invaluable.