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Center director contributes to national educational material on “Fat cells, genes, and the code of life”


Cells constitute the building blocks of life and also take center stage in the research of Center Director Professor Susanne Mandrup. Using advanced single cell technologies, she and her colleagues study human and mouse tissues at single cell resolution. But how can children learn to appreciate what they cannot see with their naked eyes? How can they learn about genes and the concept of the Code of Life? What are mutations? And lifestyle diseases? And how is this coupled to cells?

As part of the Strategy of Natural Sciences (“Naturvidenskabsstrategien”), the Board of Education and Quality (Styrelsen for Undervisning og Kvalitet (STUK)) under the Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet) has now published educational inspirational material for use in the elementary school subject Natural Science - “Naturfag”. 

The aim is to give teachers inspiration to competence-oriented teaching in natural science from a research perspective. The material provides insight into ongoing scientific breakthroughs accomplished by researchers at Danish universities.

Susanne Mandrup has contributed to this material with insights into the code of life, genes, and cells, in particular fat cells, communicated through an introductory magazine and six inspirational catalogues targeted at different grades in primary school. The catalogues contain background materials as well as ideas for how to introduce the pupils to cells, DNA, genes, the role of fat cells in health and lifestyle diseases. 
“It has been labor intensive but fun to be part of making the material”, says Susanne Mandrup, and she is happy with the result. The hope is that the material can increase the interest in molecular biology and facilitate discussions about important topics such as overweight, virus infections, evolution, and gene technology.

The material as well as a short movie can be found on the learning portal 

The accompanying theme magazine is available online as well