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Giving the "Growing up bacteria" lesson plan in the Utopia Homelands

Eileen Fletcher visited the Utopia Homelands in late September to deliver the “Growing up Bacteria” lesson plan to 7 boys and 5 girls at the Alparra High School. She was supported by her husband Ian who generously volunteered to asssist the program. The program involved 2 x 1 hours lessons each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with boys and girls taught separately.

As part of the lesson plan we take swabs from all sorts of different surfaces in the classroom, including in kids ears, up their noses etc - it's up to the kids. Then we grow bacteria on agar plates to show why they should wash their hands. You can get growths from anything that isn't sterile, it's a great way of visually displaying bacteria during our education programs and it provides a basis for discussing the topic of "germs".

During the week the students were also taken to see the visiting Canberra vets who were running a desexing clinic as part of the Barkly Shires dog health program. The boys were very interested in the surgery and the girls were a bit shy! The teenage boys really responded to having a male teacher (in this case Ian) in the classroom and his military background proved useful in shepherding them back and forth to see the vets working.

On Monday afternoon the Be a Friend to Your Dog package was delivered to 22 primary school students at Apungalindum and on Tuesday afternoon it was delivered to a further 18 primary age students. The resource packs were left at both schools to support the continuing program.

Teachers across the schools were interested and enthusiastic, a reflection on the principal Kerry Kasmira who has been very supportive of the whole program.

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