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Bug Busters activities

Four examples of activities to teach groups about antimicrobial resistance, and links to further external resources.
© BSAC & PHE
e-Bug was developed for use in schools pre-COVID-19 and so some activities may require modification based on your school’s distancing guidelines. Please use your judgement and tell us how you have modified the activities, or if you would like to discuss some ideas, contact e-Bug@phe.gov.uk

Comic strip (10-15 mins)

Suitable for KS2 and community groups
This activity will help participants understand correct uses of antibiotics, including when they should not be taken and why.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
Cartoon image example from comic strip activity

Bacterial resistance (10-15 mins)

Suitable for KS3, KS4, KS5 and community groups
This activity uses a visual demonstration to explain what antibiotic resistance is using balloons, and how this can spread through reproduction to other bacteria.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
Photo of 4 balloons - one red with tape on it, and 3 yellow. Photo from bacterial resistance activity instructions.

Antibiotic Awareness and Colour Change

Suitable for KS2 and community groups
This activity involves an experiment which uses changes in pH levels and colour change to explain the action of antibiotics affecting bacterial infections only, and having no effect on viral infections.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
Text from antibiotic awareness and colour change activity - some steps for this activity

Experiment using agar plates

Suitable for KS3
This activity involves an experiment using agar culture plates with indicators to grow microbial cultures and to test whether the microbes are killed by a range of antibiotics, and to decide which microbe is causing the illness and whether antibiotics are needed.
A summary of instructions for both school and community groups can be found here. You will also find a link in the downloads section below.
picture of agar plate with labels from left to right: Penicillin, Meticillin, Erythromycin, Vancomycin, Amoxicillin
Image taken from e-Bug KS3 lesson pack.
Antibiotics on agar plate: From left to right: Penicillin, Meticillin, Erythromycin, Vancomycin, Amoxicillin.
Video of experiment:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.


Fun Kids

Suitable for KS2 and community groups

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

In this episode, Professor Hallux and Nurse Nanobot learn more about the body’s amazing immune system by using the Helitelibubble to look at special blood cells including lymphocytes and phagocytes.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

In this episode, Professor Hallux and Nurse Nanobot find out about antibiotics which help treat serious infections caused by bacteria. The very first antibiotic, penicillin, was an accidental discovery by Alexander Fleming in 1928!

Antibiotic resistance debate kit

Suitable for KS3, KS4, KS5 and community groups
e-Bug have developed a debate kit on antibiotic resistance to enable students and community members to debate on this hot topic: “Should the NHS tell GPs to give back-up prescriptions instead of immediate antibiotics wherever possible?”
image promoting the debate kit - created by 'I'm a scientist get me out of here' and e-Bug
If you are supporting home-learning or working with small groups of children, we have additional activities on antibiotic awareness in our newly launched Antibiotic Guardian Youth Badge Leader and Volunteer Activity Pack. Click here to access this resource.
Have you carried out any activities which are similar to these?
Let us know your experiences in the comments below.
© BSAC & PHE
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