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Antibody-pathogen pairs game

Activity: A card-matching game

Aim: To show that for every new pathogen the body meets, we have to make a specific antibody to match the pathogen in order to kill it. Vaccines enable us to gain a memory of the antibody needed to kill a particular pathogen.

How to make:

  • Print out and laminate your own matching ‘antibody’ and ‘pathogen’ shapes: creative design is up to you but just try and make sure they are visibly matching pairs. The card game is the same as a normal ‘pairs’ game.

What to do: The aim is to match the pairs (with our cards, antibodies- light blue to pathogen- dark blue): every correct pair, keep them facing up. Incorrect pairs, turn back over. As the game progresses, the participant will ‘learn’ which antibody will match which pathogen and become faster - just as the immune system learns which antibody to make for which germ, and becomes faster on second exposure – i.e. following vaccination. This is a timed competition with leader board.