Discover eLearning and Oxford University are collaborating on a brand-new project aiming to educate children about coronavirus, vaccines and the immune system.
The project will tie-in with the university’s current exhibition about the 19th Century battle to rid Oxford of typhoid and the very recent work of the Jenner Institute in finding a vaccine against Covid-19.
The first part of the project is a card game themed on the immune system. The player has to match pairs of cards, with the overall aim being to match each virus with the T Cell that will help the human body fight it.
The second is a comic book aimed at infant school children to help them learn about Covid-19 and how the immune system works against infections.
The comic, entitled Elisa Foxford’s Guide To Coronavirus, features the scientifically-minded title character explaining coronavirus and vaccines to her younger brother in a way he can understand.
The colourful and engaging comic book will answer common questions children may have about coronavirus, such as how viruses work, why they make people ill, why people are worried about coronavirus and how vaccines work. It is intended both for use in the classroom and for reading at home.
A second book is also in development for older children at Key Stage 4 of the national curriculum.
The card game and Elisa Foxford’s Guide To Coronavirus are the second collaboration between Discover eLearning and Oxford University following the earlier Alice in Typhoidland exhibition, which went on to be nominated for Best Learning Game Award at this year’s Learning Technology Awards.
Discover eLearning’s founder and director Chris Hodgson said “I’m very excited to be working with the academic team at Oxford University once more on this new project. We have had great success working together in the past on Alice in Typhoidland.
“What struck me when visiting the physical exhibition event in Oxford earlier in the year was how many young people were there, clearly having fun and engaging in the games and learning activities that were taking place throughout the launch weekend.
“It is clear to me that the University prides their educational outreach on young audiences as much as adult learners, and this new project will be no exception. In partnership with the Jenner Institute, we aim to make this new comic book a valued resource – which in no way skirts over the issues caused by Coronavirus – but communicates them in a way our young audience will understand and appreciate.
“Creating fun and engaging learning experiences is one of the core philosophies that Discover eLearning stands for, so I’m delighted that Oxford have recognised this and have continued to work with us once again.”
Dr. Samantha Vanderslott, Social Sciences Researcher at Oxford Martin School said: “With the comic book and card game we hoped to help children and young people learn about how the immune system works in a fun and engaging way, and to help them with answering questions they might have about the current Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines being developed.
“I chose to work with Chris again because he is very responsive. He adapts really well to what the client wants and is happy to inject his expertise and experience. Even with limited guidance, he produces excellent work. He uses his initiative but also keeps the dialogue open. I’ve found him to be very adaptable, enthusiastic, and skilled.”
The card games is currently available to download from https://typhoidland.org/typhoid-in-the-classroom, with the comic book’s availability being announced soon.