Teach youth how to deal with COVID-19

Our collaborator, Smithsonian Science Education Center, has made a great module for teaching students ages 8-17 what the COVID-19 pandemic means and how to cope with life during a pandemic. This blog post goes through the core features of the material and why we think it is important to encourage these good practices educationally.

We are all told to wash our hands, use sanitizer, and keep our distance to other people in public. We know that it is to stop the spread of a new virus. But these stories of a deadly virus that is, at the same time, both invisible and possibly everywhere can induce fear - especially in young people. How can we make sure they do not get too scared when the media is constantly alarming us with horrible numbers and stories of infections and death? It is hard to limit the way the media portrays the virus, but we can do something about how children take in this information and provide them with more useful resources.

“The more you understand, the less scary it becomes”

The Smithsonian Science Education Center develops educational modules based on the premise of Discover the questions, Understand the science, and Act on your new knowledge. This COVID-19 curriculum provides a scientific guide to understanding what the virus is, how it spreads, and what we can do to protect ourselves and others. It does so with exercises demonstrating the knowledge, and questions of reflections that can prepare and support students mentally. One of the core ideas behind the curriculum is that fear should be avoided as much as possible.

The curriculum encourages students to be critical thinkers about the huge amount of information they are exposed to every day. The amount of fake news present concerning the virus needs to be exposed and not spread. This way students learn to protect themselves from false information. It connects students to the scientific community, also by having lots of quotes from scientists and using a scientific method of teaching. This is also what we at ScienceAtHome strongly believe in and why we emphasize scientific communication on our website and develop educational initiatives and games.

“The more you understand, the better you can protect yourself.”

Shows the membrane of a coronavirus being destroyed by the use of soap.

Knowledge is power. And that is why we need to educate ourselves and others during this time of crisis. The curriculum is currently available in 24 languages and it provides additional resources containing tools and information. One of them is our Corona Minister game, a simulation tool we created to teach people about the difficult dilemmas policymakers face during a pandemic - become the Corona Minister yourself!

Find the Smithsonian module here and use it with your students, friends, or family. Remember to stay safe.


Teach youth how to deal with COVID-19