Centre for Inflammation Research

MRC Festival of Medical Research event: Supercytes Teacher Training: 19 June 2019

June 2019: The Centre ran a free, "sold out" interactive workshop to train teachers in using our "Supercytes" game-based schools' resource, focused on immunology and inflammation

MRC Festival of Medical Research "Supercytes – the immune cell standoff" Teacher Training workshop

Developed by medical researchers at University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, Supercytes is a game-centred resource for teachers, targeting young learners aged 9-18 (using 3 different formats).  Supercytes aims 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.

The full resource features:

  1.  Card games - designed to be genuinely fun, appeal to active learners and reinforce learning objectives in gameplay;
  2.  Professional animations - engaging, easy to remember, highly accessible, yet scientifically accurate – to improve practitioner knowledge and enable differentiation;
  3. Quizzes - to assess learning outcomes;
  4. Worksheets - to enhance teaching and/or facilitate self-directed learning;
  5. Lesson plans - specifically integrated into Scottish Curriculum for Excellence Levels 2 - 4, National 5 and Higher;
  6. Teaching presentation materials - enhancing practitioner knowledge and providing specific teaching aids applicable to SCE, but also added value and aids for differentiation;
  7.  Videos about medical research at University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research - highlighting diversity of researchers in our laboratories, to address unconscious bias and show medical research careers as real jobs for real people.
Supercytes cartoon cells and playing cards
Supercytes cartoon cells and playing cards

Resource packs are FREE to schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians and all trained teachers (regardless of school location) or can be purchased online.

All components are also freely downloadable under a Creative Commons Licence, on our dedicated interactive website.

Supercytes website

Image of MRC Festival 2019 - twitter graphic
MRC Festival 2019 - twitter graphic

This MRC Festival of Medical Research 2019 event at the Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, was an interactive workshop to introduce the Supercytes resource to teachers, delivered by researchers Donald J Davidson, Richard O'Connor, Susanna Riley, Jiwon Park and Valentina Rausch, with support from Sheila Marshall.

The event was a great success and fully subscribed with a mix of Secondary School Science and Primary School teachers, and Higher Education staff participants. The participants learned to use the Supercytes resource, and apparently enjoyed playing the game as much as the pupils who have used it!

100% of attendees said that they would definitely use the Supercytes resource, and the group gave a mean rating of 6.7/7 for the quality of the workshop. Thanks to all the participants!

Teachers playing the Supercytes card games
Teachers playing the Supercytes card games


Teacher feedback:

•   Thanks for that amazing presentation! It was one of the best events I've been to this year and I'm looking forward to using the resources, they will be incredibly useful and I'll be bigging them up to everyone!

•   Game will capture pupil’s imaginations. I can see it becoming a class favourite.

•  Clear and well produced. Obvious that a lot of thought and work has gone into this.

•  Animations are very good and appropriate for a wide range of levels.

•  I will definitely use the resources in the classroom – really good for teaching the immune system. Also, Developing the Young Workforce is a big focus at the moment and this is already built in to Supercytes – fab!

•  This workshop was superb! I thought that the table to be filled in from the information in the cartoons is a really great resource for notes.