The Science of Coronaviruses

April 27, 2020

There have been more than 2.9 million cases of Covid-19 globally as of the date I'm writing this. When we stop and think about the magnitude of this virus, it is hard to believe that something we can't even see has interrupted our lives so severely and caused so much harm! We have lost loved ones or seen them infected with this horrible virus, places of employment have been closed, schools have closed down for so many, and the list goes on. We are all affected by this. What do we tell students to explain this virus to them when we can't see it - only the devastation it leaves? Let's start by sharing the science of Coronavirus with them and help them understand how we can all fight it. While doing some research on this topic, I discovered the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. Their website features videos, articles and activities that go a long way in helping us understand more about Coronaviruses.

The Exploratorium is, in their own words, "a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. Our mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide." Sounds like an awesome place to visit, doesn't it? As for now though, we will just have to learn online. Featuring a Free Online Learning Toolbox, the Exploratorium shares lots of helpful learning tools for us to better understand the science of Coronaviruses.

In their Free Online Learning Toolbox, you will find the videos, articles and activities about viruses - all of which are very informative and great for students learning from home. The videos include How Does Soap Inactivate Coronaviruses?, How Big is a Virus?, and What Other Things are Contagious?. The articles feature titles including Can You Believe It?, How Do You Greet People Safely?, and Can A Virus Turn Us Against One Another?. And the activities include What Are Viruses?, How Do Virus Membranes Behave?, How Do Viruses Compare with Other Small Things?, How Does Coronavirus Last On Surfaces?, How Do Viruses Reproduce?, How Do We Test for Viral Infection?, How Do You Protect Yourself from Infection?, How Well Do You Wash?, and How Strong Is Your Grip?. Just reading the titles, can you just imagine how students will learn from these videos, articles and activities? Plus the activities provide hands-on learning that will help reinforce the what's, why's and how's.

I'm sure there are other places like the Exploratorium that we would all love to hear about! If you know of some place, please reach out to us and let us know about them. Also, any ideas that could help your fellow colleagues during this time, please share those, as well. We would love to hear from you! Stay safe out there!

Stephanie Miller

With over 25 years experience, Stephanie serves as a senior copywriter, social media director, and senior editor for Science Scene. Stephanie is always on the lookout for new educational and STEM-related opportunities and technology.