Viral Snowflakes

Hanging from the ceiling at the far end of the science wing are viral mobiles that look suspiciously like snowflakes. 7th graders in Scottie Mobley's Marine and Life Science created the artistic likenesses as part of a virology unit which included a study of Covid-19. Mobley said that the students learned about the two parts all viruses have in common, the capsid (protein coat surrounding the viral DNA or RNA) and the nucleic acid (viral DNA or RNA). The class then reviewed examples of viral capsid shapes. "There are so many shapes that I thought it would be fun to explore more about them and make virus-model snowflakes," said Mobley. "I especially liked how the lesson was so timely to discuss not only COVID but the vaccine!" Each virus snowflake came with a set of interesting facts about the particular virus and the virus particle.  At the end of the STEAM activity, the class had a little show and tell about their snowflakes.
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