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Antibiotics at Hevingham Primary School


This workshop was run as part of a series of workshops based around the theme of ‘antibiotics’. Working with scientists from across the Norwich Research Park, each workshop approaches a different topic based upon theme.

hevingham group photoFor this workshop, Brydie Moore (JIC), Rebecca Winsbury (JIC) and Maria Marin-Altaba (UEA) worked together to produce on workshop based around ‘rapid diagnostics’. They began the day by exploring different types of microbes, particularly bacteria and viruses and after some guessing, told the class that viruses are roughly 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria.

After looking at some electron microscope images of viruses and bacteria, the class explored the similarities and differences between the two, including size, life cycles and the effect of antibiotics on each. Crucial to their understanding of the days topic, ‘rapid diagnostics’ was the classes understanding of the structure of bacteria and virus cells.

The class were given diagrams that show structures called ‘receptors’ that are found on the outside of bacteria and viruses that target sugars that are found on the outside of human cells, certain receptors target specific sugars. The class then created their own microbes and receptors, using polystyrene balls and Velcro pads.

To help imbed their learning, they then carried out an experiment and were given tubes with a red liquid in which they had to apply to a sugar sample.  If the sugar sample turned blue then a virus was present, if it stayed red then it was a bacterium.

SAW Antibiotics front cover


The class went on to write their own microbe inspired poems with the help of our writer, Heidi Williamson.

The outputs of this workshop, along with others in the 

series, are showcased in our latest book SAW: antibiotics.

A selection of poetry from the students

The virus.

I need sugar, I live off it.

Will you accept me inside of you?
Anyone, will anyone feed me!
Nobody accepts me, all they do is kill me.
To a cell’s medicine: “will you go away, please?”

Many times I’ve tried, but I always fail.
You need to accept me. I’ll always be there.

So, I make you ill. Does that matter?
Unknown medicine you swallow,
Gosh that burns, GET AWAY!
After you took that I WEAKENED.
Relax, you are driving me crazy!
!won sdrawkcab m’I HA.*

*HA I’m backwards now!

- Ellie, year 5.

The Nanoparticle

He clasps the virus with his tasty hands;
Close to the organs in lonely lands,
With the gory world, he stands.

The acidy stomach, beneath him drools;
He watches from his heart-height perch,
And he will say “I’ve lived to fight another day.”

- Oliver, year 5.