To kick off Everton’s new partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Everton defender Mason Holgate took part in an interactive science session with children at Wavertree Church of England School.
The link-up will use the power and reach of football to engage with communities about science – including the battle against COVID-19. It will also encourage children to explore careers in science.
Via video link, Holgate led the questions for STEM Ambassador and LSTM PhD student Rachel Byrne, while children participated in an activity using blue paint to understand why thoroughly washing hands is key to avoiding the spread of germs.
The pupils also watched a video of Holgate doing timed keepy-ups to give them an idea of how long they should be washing their hands.
Holgate said: “Science has never been more important.
"Being able to be a part of this session and to help the pupils learn more about such an important topic is really exciting - and something I’m proud to be involved in.”
Watch footage from Holgate’s interactive science session in the video above or here. You will also hear from Richard Kenyon, Everton Director of Marketing, Communications and Community and Professor Steve Ward, Deputy Director, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, on the aims of the partnership.
The visit is the first in a series to schools all over Liverpool, marking the first project of a three-year partnership.
LSTM Research Assistant Sara Begg, who also helped lead the session Wavertree Church of England School, added: "This programme with Everton in the Community is a brilliant way to bring science into the classroom in a fun and engaging way.
"Rachel and I had a fantastic time with the Year 6 class, talking about COVID-19, spotting the difference between a fact and a theory, and discussing what makes good public health communication material.
“The session was made extra special with the virtual attendance in the lesson of Mason Holgate, whose 20 seconds of keep-up skills provided a fun way to think about effective handwashing.
"As someone who is passionate about how sport can be used as a vehicle for health promotion, it was a real treat to see this in action in the classroom as opposed to the playing field.
“The Year 6 pupils asked great questions about the virus, how it started and what scientists are doing to combat it. Judging by the numbers of hands that shot up when asked at the end, Who wants to be a scientist when they’re older?', I think we’ve got some future LSTM scientists on our hands!
"Thank you to Everton in the Community, and Year 6 teacher Lisa, for making it happen – and I can’t wait until our next session!"