Centre for Inflammation Research

The Supercytes visit the National Museum of Scotland

January 2020 - Donald J. Davidson shows teachers how to use card game Supercytes to teach pupils about immunology.

A group of teachers learn to play the Supercytes card game
A group of teachers learn to play the Supercytes card game

The Supercytes workshop was run in conjunction with the current 'Parasites: Battle for Survival' exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. Primary, secondary and college teachers gathered from across the Central Belt to learn how to play Supercytes and use the accompanying resources, including online quizzes and a series of animations about the major cells of the immune system. The card game can be tailored to different levels of complexity for ages ranging from 9-18 years. Each successive level provides a deeper understanding of the cells of the immune system and how they can be affected by medicines such as vaccines or antihistamines.

Participants, including qualified and trainee teachers as well as undergraduate biochemistry students and school club mentors, commented on the quality, accuracy and flexibility of the Supercytes resources. One trainee teacher commented, "I I love the cartoons and the level it is pitched at. It’s very difficult to find resources which are so accurate and can be pitched to different levels without being dumbed down too much."

The Supercytes resources aim to:

  • Facilitate enhanced, engaging teaching of immunology, inflammation and infectious disease biology by primary and secondary teachers.
  • Incorporate interdisciplinary learning including numeracy, literacy, problem solving, working with others, and self-directed learning.
  • Enhance collaboration with Universities, providing science capital and confidence in STEM careers to pupils from diverse backgrounds.
  • Complement formal learning approaches with a fun, active, game-based approach, designed to reinforce key learning objectives.
  • Deliver specific Scottish Curriculum for Excellence objectives in an accessible manner, with added value and differentiation opportunities.

It was a fantastic workshop, extremely informative and I now feel more prepared to utilise the resources effectively. Brilliant presentation and very friendly, I would recommend to any teacher to come along!

Secondary school teacher

Supercytes is currently being used by 157 schools across Europe, North America and South America. Resource packs are FREE to schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and to all teachers regardless of location who have completed a Supercytes training workshop. They can also be purchased online. All the component resources are freely downloadable, under a Creative Commons Licence, from our dedicated interactive website.

Find out more about Supercytes and the Parasites exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland by using the links below.

Visit the Supercytes website

Find out about the Parasites exhibition