The Glasgow Science Centre was showered in glitter over the May holiday weekend as scientists from Glasgow University’s Centre for Immunobiology and Rheumatoid Arthritis Centre of Excellence (RACE) took part in a public engagement activity. With the help of germ stickers, a picture of a boy, and a whole lot of glitter, the scientists talked to children of all ages about the role of the immune system in protecting us from infectious diseases. The glitter represented the immune system and – most of the time – just stuck to the “invading” bugs. However, sometimes the glitter got everywhere – ‘attacking’ the body’s own tissues which in real life can lead to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Over 160 children took part in the activity over the weekend – many of them leaving with a greater understanding of what their immune system is for and with parents who appreciated the extra encouragement for hand washing.
Some children focussed their glitter just on the bugs…while others had fun covering the whole body!