Service learning : Les microbes vont à l'Ecole


Service Learning 2020

Service-Learning is a course offered during spring semester to students of the 3rd year in the bachelor in biology. The goal of this course is to give them the opportunity to get involved in the local community and to acquire new competences in teaching and in communicating to the wider public, while consolidating their skills of transfering knowledge.

To do this, the students prepare autonomously a strategy to transfer their knowledge about a specific subject to a public of non-specialists, in our case to pupils of the grades 2H – 9H. The covered subject as well as the teaching method will be decided via discussions between the university students, the teachers of the classes involved and the academic supervisors to ensure that all partners are involved. The only requirement is to teach about microorganisms, what they do and in particular, to compare the negative aspects with the multitude of positive contributions they can offer to society.

Generally, a semester proceeds like this:

  • December to February: Recruitment of teachers to define the general context oft he approach and to start preparing the pupils.
  • Mid-February to March: First meeting of teachers and students of Unine.
  • March: Preparation of the activities by students of Unine, with regular exchanges between the different partners of the project (Unine and school).
  • Mid-March to mid-May: The students of Unine are working with the pupils
  • June: Final presentation, feedback between the different participants.

This teaching model could be offered in spring 2020 thanks to funding by the „bureau qualité“ in the framework of innovative pedagogic projects and is also funded by the program „Agora“ of the SNF.

Activities that are already put into practice:

Here you can find a brief summary of the activities that were already put into practice. These (and the protocols used) can be provided on demand. Please contact us using the following address: microbes.ecole@unine.ch

We hereby stress the fact that all activities are the result of the ingenuity of our students and that they deserve the merit for this!


Spring semester 2020

  • Class 2H (Neuchâtel): Chloé Berton et Auriane Form.
    Playful activities about the omnipresence of microbes on and in the human body: Creation of microbe-pompons and drawings with the kids and production of an instructional video. Revealing the importance of hand-washing in an experiment with mouldy bread. Excursion to the forest to « see » the microbes in nature.
  • Class 7H (Hauterive, NE): Harishini Balachandiran, Baptiste Bovay, Sylvie Tillé et Tania Thoos.
    Creation of a comic strip in which the main character is a professor who lost his collection of microbes. He recruits different assistants whose aim is to explain the students how to find back the microbes by conducting experiments to isolate microbes from différent substrates (hands, soil, articles of daily use).
  • Class 8H (Hauterive, NE): Morgane Bouverot, Chiara Casartelli, Henri Descombes, Letizia Pessina.
    Creation of a didactic parcours in form of a board game to discover the three big groups of microbes (bacteria, fungi, virus) and their actions. Theoretical inputs and quizzes to test the learning outcome.


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Poster service-learning

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