Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources
for Children and Parents

Lots of parents have asked me for help in explaining coronavirus COVID-19 to their children. Here is a quick video that I hope will help explain what coronavirus is and how if differs from other viruses as well as how it's transmitted and how to stop the spread.

As a nanotechnologist and science communicator I've been using my skills to help communicate the world of the tiny like viruses and soap molecules in a way that's jargon free and includes simple experiments you can do at home. For up-to-date content follow my facebook page where links to my television interviews can be found.

Chick here for our free Coronavirus lesson plans for primary school teachers.

Feel free to share any of this content if it's helpful.

Soap is made up of polar molecules where one end loves water and the other end loves fat. Coronavirus COVID-19 is sealed in an envelope called a lipid-bilayer. This is a fancy way of saying that coronavirus wears a double layered coat made of fat. In this video we show how soap burst the virus by breaking the fat coat which destroys it.

The most common way a person can be infected with coronavirus is by touching a surface previously touched by an infected person then touching their -own face. Hand-washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread. We show you how to use a bowl of water and some pepper to help explain why soap and water are needed to remove viruses to prevent them from spreading.

Mask wearing is now shown to help to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets which can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. As part of a cricis capacity strategy to keep masks for essential workers making your own masks is now recommended - here is why masks are important and how to make your own mask in 10 seconds!

How does wearing a mask help reduce the spread of COVID-19? Watch this video of a sneeze with and without a mask on to see how far respiratory droplets can travel in an uncovered sneeze. If you don't want to sneeze in your mask there are also some other tips for how to sneeze safely.

Which fabric is best for a mask? Research has shown that two layers of quilting cotton are an effective mask material but here is a microscopic look at other materials close up to compare.

If you are in lock-down, going to the supermarket may seem scary.  

I've had lots of people ask me for advice around keeping safe at the supermarket and what to do with items when they are brought home - so here are some of my thoughts. I've also written these up here

Parents have been asking me for ideas to help their children to wash their hands more often in light of the coronavirus outbreak. I've modified a recipe from my kitchen science cookbook to create a super-powered virus fighting soap for your kids. Easy to make while explaining the science behind why washing our hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent coronavirus COVID-19 spread.

Coronavirus COVID-19 update with Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, Dr Michelle Dickinson and Dr Juliet Gerrard answering some of your most frequently asked questions such as how it's spread and whether surgical masks actually help keeping it at bay and how to talk to your children about the virus. 

We love how our free teaching resources for coronavirus are being used around the world. To help with one of our soap and handwashing experiments we popped in to Manurewa Central School to help with some superpower soap shield training. Our free teacher resources can be found at https://www.nanogirllive.co.nz/coronavirus-lesson-plan

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2019 by Michelle Dickinson