GLOBE Plus Post Initiative 2022-2023: Costa Rica
Report of the first 2022 GLOBE outreach workshop entitled: Let's prevent dengue and Zika from our community with the GLOBE Program
Public Health officials from Costa Rica’s Social Security Board (CCSS, per its acronym in Spanish) that participated as observers introduced themselves. They shared with the students that they went to college to become medical doctors, nurses or public health geographers. Students heard from CCSS officials how that major is enabling them to help others and prevent dengue, as a way to encourage kids to keep studying.
After the welcoming words, students participated in a bilingual bingo that we prepared to introduce them to key vocabulary for this workshop both in English and Spanish.
After the Mosquito Bingo, students participated in a scavenger hunt activity, entitled: On the lookout for potential breeding sites! They were given a list of riddles, which answers were places that could be breeding sites for mosquitoes and where we placed small balls they had to find. Everyone competed to be the first group to find all the balls.
After the two introductory activities, the hands-on part, for building a DIY larvae trap started. Each participant, including teachers, students and observers built their own trap. Participants learned safety precautions, as well as how to correctly sand the surface of the plastic bottle, to check if the net is properly put (by trying to look through it) and the importance of putting rocks, to prevent it from being overturned by the wind. The bottles and nets came from Embassy's Recycling Center.
After building the trap, students were introduced to the clip-on magnifying lenses as a tool to turn a smartphone into a microscope. At first, we used coins to facilitate their process of getting familiar with the microscope's different lights and how to use them to focus it and observe their samples.
We finalized the activities of the workshop by using the microscopes to observe insects previously collected by the instructors. Students were able to take photos of them with their phones and were amazed to see the details on the wings of mosquitoes and spiders' legs. Students will now collect their own samples by using the traps that they built.