Nov. 3, 2018

Let’s Talk Science - Spooky Science at the University of Lethbridge

Article by Micky Ahn (MSc Student, Goater lab, University of Lethbridge)

On November 2nd and 3rd 2018, the Goater lab had an amazing opportunity to collaborate with Let’s Talk Science ULeth for their Spooky Science event. Spooky Science encouraged participants to learn about science while embracing the creepy atmosphere of Halloween, a perfect event to bring some parasites!

Sarah Unrau (Goater lab) and I dedicated some extra time to make some crafts and games for this event. The operation game was a huge success, even though it was a bit harder than anticipated,  but it got the message across to the participants that parasites are hard to get out! Sarah also designed and created a new game teaching the life cycle of Giardia. With Giardia bean bags made by Leah Brummelhuis (U of A) our Giardia toss game debuted at this event and stole the show with participants lining up to play the game. To top off our new display, blood-engorged ticks (from the Dergousoff lab – AAFC/AAC, Lethbridge) spooked children and parents alike, with papier-mache ticks accompanying the creepy display.

All 3 sessions of the event were fully booked and we were visited by superheroes, Disney characters, animals, and a whole host of different children dressed up in their favourite costumes. With the much appreciated help of Molly Tilley (Goater Lab) and Holly Clayholt (Dergousoff lab), we were always busy running our games and showing our parasite samples. The games were particularly useful as they occupied the children while the parents were able to learn the details of the local parasites we find around Lethbridge and Alberta.

Collaborating with Let’s Talk Science was great as children were able to get exposed to more than just parasites, as they also learned about topics ranging from neuroscience to physics. The event was a ton of fun and we are excited to use our games again for future events!

From one of the VPs at the University of Lethbridge:

“Back from science night. Asked the boys for their top three of the night. Guess what was number 1?! Voted number 1 by all 4 boys. The parasite table. The students working there were completely captivating.”