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Primary school children help design app to explain Covid-19 to other youngsters | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools


Pupils aged 10-12 have helped university staff design an app aimed at teaching youngsters about respiratory viruses such as Covid-19. The Co-Immunicate app is aimed at five to 11-year-olds and educates them in respiratory viruses and how people’s immune systems work.

Students in the 2020/21 Primary 6/7 class at Anderston Primary School in Glasgow provided drawings which were used to explain what viruses are and what happens after a respiratory infection. The app, now on the Apple App Store, uses augmented reality, quizzes and a game.

The software is set to be presented to Glasgow Science Festival this week. It was developed by staff from the University of Glasgow, Glasgow School of Art and children at the Primary School.

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Pupils also provided voiceovers for the app and helped the developers test the software, giving feedback to help make it better. Headteacher Elizabeth Hendry said the project is “particularly relevant under the current circumstances” and “has definitely inspired many of our young people”.

The app uses research from Glasgow university’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, where scientists work to understand how respiratory infections change the cells that make up the respiratory tract, and the immune cells that move into the lung to protect it from a future attack. Dr Megan Macleod, senior lecturer at the institute, said: “We wanted to create a fun and informative tool to help the pupils and the broader community understand what happens after a respiratory virus infection.”

As well as schoolchildren and scientists, Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation was brought into help design the app. Dr Matthieu Poyade, a research fellow in the department who helped make the app with Orla McCorry, said: “It was really exiting being able to engage pupils in the design of the app.”

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