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Recent Education Events

Core Leaders
Interested in any of our Programs?

Email us to find out more information about any of our programs including the handwashing program aimed at young children, Immunity Exploration booths for STEM and Science Expos, and hour-long Hands-on Workshops.

Here are some recent events from the CIIID Education Core!

Join us May 6th, 7th and 8th at the Pacific Science Center for the 2016 Husky Paws On Science Weekend! Our Education Core Program Leader, Amy Stone, was interviewed by Stan Orchard for the PacSci Podcast about this exciting upcoming event. Check out the podcast here!

CIIID Education Visits Rural Communities to Teach Students About Immunology

This past spring, the CIIID Education Core traveled out to the communities of Enumclaw and Buckley to participate in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) Expositions for the local K-12 students. The team from CIIIDedu used a hands-on demonstration to teach the students how the immune system works.  The students were given a stuffed virus to try to fight off using decorated ping-pong balls until they found the ball that “recognized” the virus. This scrambling is analogous to what happens in the body when a person first encounters a pathogen. The students then got to play the game again using a different set of ping-pong balls that represented the body during a secondary infection. Illustrating that the immune system “remembers” what works and generates many more of the effective balls, the students gained an understanding of why they can’t get the same infection twice and how vaccines work.

CIIID Education volunteers also worked with students to read graphs using colored beads in a jar to provide a tangible aspect of what the graph represented. Students discussed careers in science as well as upcoming opportunities with the CIIID Education team. 

“I really enjoy bringing the excitement of our work out to these students who may have not had the chance to experience it before,” said one CIIIDedu volunteer.  Students and parents all were highly engaged in the activity and were excited to see the UW’s Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Diseases reaching out to their community. CIIID Education Core is certainly looking forward to continuing to work with the rural communities around Western Washington.

How important is hand washing?  

How do you properly wash your hands to ensure that you remove the germs that make you sick? 

 Four and five year olds at Hutch Kids answered these questions recently with help from the CIIID Education Core.  Members of the core visited the children to talk about good and bad germs along with proper hand washing technique.  Using a glow in the dark powder that spreads like real germs, the children explored how germs can spread from person to person.  They then experimented to determine how long it takes to wash your hands well enough to remove those germs.  Specifically, the class sang the ABCs while washing their hands, checking at various intervals to see if they had scrubbed enough.  

We learned that you need to sing all the way through the ABCs in order to remove the germs and that it is just as important to wash the backs of your hands and your wrists as it is to wash your palms.  Importantly, the children thoroughly enjoy the demonstration, and the lessons taught have helped improve hand washing in the class, as the teachers have heard many of the children singing the ABCs while washing their hands since our visit! 

Husky Paws on Science at the Pacfic Science Center


The Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease's (CIIID) Education Core  was at the Husky Paws On Science Weekend at the Pacific Science Center April 10- 12th, 2015! We presented a hands-on activity where participants played a game where they tried to match a "virus" to an "immune cell" that recognizes it. We also demonstrated  how the number of immune cells change when a person gets sick and get better or when they get a vaccination using a graph and jars of beads to visualize the changes. We spoke to over 1000 people over the course of the weekend!