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Educational event set to zoom in on complex world of microbes

Oct. 12, 2017, 9:00 AM


Students, teachers and parents are invited to explore the world of microbes — microscopic bugs — during a free hands-on event 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Martin Professional Development Center next to Nashville’s Eakin Elementary School at 2400 Fairfax Ave.

Hosted by the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (VI4), the “MEGAMicrobe” event is open to students age 6 to 14. Experiments, crafts, games and prizes will be provided at 19 booths staffed by Vanderbilt scientists.

Participants will learn about diseases caused by microbes including bacteria, viruses and other germs. Children are encouraged to come dressed for Halloween and a chance to win the “spooky microbe” costume contest. The goal of the event is to show that science and science education is important, fun and accessible.

VI4 was established last spring to coordinate initiatives among the rapidly evolving disciplines of infection biology, immunology and inflammatory diseases.

The institute is directed by Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, Ernest W. Goodpasture Professor of Pathology, vice chair for Basic Research and director of the Division of Molecular Pathogenesis in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology.

Co-sponsors of the event are Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Metro Public Health Department, Adventure Science Center, Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioLegend, the YMCA, QIAGEN and VWR International.

For more information, go to or e-mail Kaleigh Johnson at

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