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Plasticine modeling pathogens & antibodies

Activity: Children will have the opportunity to make a plasticine model of an antibody, virus or bacteria.  

Examples of pathogens and antibodies

Aim: To show participants the basic structures of antibodies and pathogens. 

How to make:

  • Get lots of different-coloured plasticine - green, yellow, orange, red, white (but not blue/purple - this can stain hands!) - and other craft materials such as wool, pipe cleaners, pasta shapes and beads and put them into different pots or bowls.
  • Print out and laminate pictures of bacteria, viruses and antibodies. These can be cartoon-style, real images or both! You can download ours from here and here, or print off your own.
  • You may want to use a table cloth and have some wet wipes on standby - this can get messy! 

What to do: This activity is very popular with younger children. The aim is for participants to make their own pathogens and antibodies using the craft materials. The pictures are just to be used as ideas. This activity is a chance to discuss how antibodies, made by the immune system recognise pathogens, and in the case of vaccination, make a memory of them. You can also talk about antibody specificity and how they bind to certain proteins etc. on the pathogen (this might be a bead or piece of wool...).