Members of the Milieu Interieur consortium (Dr Cécile Alanio and Dr Alexandre Alanio) organized, with local primary schools, education classes to raise school children awareness towards microbes, hygiene, research, and vaccination.
The first part of the presentation was animated by Dr Alexandre Alanio, MCU-PH in Parasitology-Mycology at Hôpital Saint-Louis (F. Dromer team), who presented the different classes of microbes, and introduced the concept of beneficial versus pathogenic bugs – as well as the importance of hygiene. He illustrated his talk with concrete examples, in particular showing to the children real bacteria colonies grown on culture dishes before and after hands washing. The second part of the presentation was dedicated to vaccination, and animated by Dr Cécile Alanio (Institut Pasteur). She used her work in Milieu Intérieur to challenge the children with questions on how they would produce their own vaccine with interpretation of fictive results. In these times of loss of confidence in vaccination, she sensitized them on how myths fuel dangerous decisions to not vaccinate children, and on the ongoing and constant efforts made by researchers to improve safety and efficiency of vaccination. For the later, she took concrete examples from the Milieu Interieur project, and proposed to the 9/10 years-old children to write down additional ideas they might have to further improve vaccines of the future. In a separated session with 6/7 years old, she encouraged them to draw their favorite imaginary bug.
From these workshops transcripts and drawings from the children will be used for an exposition at the Institut Pasteur, Paris during 2017 to emphasize their commitment to promote evidence-based high-quality science and education. Posters generated during the exposition will be offered back to schools to be used locally.