HPI is a team of researchers and graduate students dedicated to solving emerging problems associated with parasitic disease here in Canada and abroad.
Parasites: The most diverse organisms on Earth
Parasites are easy to forget in places like Canada where they may not directly influence our day-to-day lives.
But parasites are everywhere and are amongst the most important causes of:
- Human and animal/wildlife disease
- Economic loss in agricultural production
- Environmental instability
Exploring and Creating New Activities
Our program is adaptable to many different ages, curriculums, and themes as parasite-host interactions are diverse, and we are happy to tailor specific presentations and lectures for schools and community events!
Some presentations we have done in the past are:
Parasites and biodiversity
Host immunity and cellular processes of parasites
Public health initiatives to combat parasitic disease
Parasite drug resistance and evolution
We strive to conduct science education beyond just lectures and presentations. HPI has developed many games and activities for a variety of ages to connect with students, such as:
Parasite samples and models: A display of parasite samples and models for students to get hands on experience looking at parasites (K-12).
Sifting for sequences activity: Students will have to identify parasite infection using genetic sequences ‘sifted’ from feces (dirt). Using the information gained from the genetic sequences, students will determine treatment options (Gr. 6+).
Parasite drug resistance activity: Students will work with an HPI member to learn how parasites evolve drug resistance and how to prevent it (Gr. 3+).
Giardia beanbag toss: A fun activity where students throw beanbags into the different places Giardia infects, learning the life cycle while playing (K-12).
Parasite travel board game: Students attempt to make their way home travelling through countries while learning about their local parasites and ways to combat/treat them (Gr. 3+).
Inspire the future
Our intent is not only to provide education but to inspire a new generation of researchers, not only in the field of parasitology but science in general.
We aim to create an inclusive environment where students of any background can be motivated to pursue the sciences in post-secondary education and beyond.