This Free Smithsonian Science Activity Guide Helps Families Cope With COVID-19

Because there are tough questions and big emotions.

Sponsored By Carolina Biological
Desk with pen, mask and free science activity guide about COVID-19.

As we return to learning in the fall, families continue to experience a great deal of uncertainty. Their lives were turned upside down as a result of the pandemic, and they’re looking to schools for support. That’s why the Smithsonian Science Education Center created this free science activity guide: COVID-19! How Can I Protect Myself and Others? It was developed with the InterAcademy Partnership and in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Distribute it to parents, caregivers, and teachers as a resource to help students answer tough questions and cope with emotions surrounding the pandemic.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Discussion Questions

The guide is available in English, as well as 22 other languages. Each version is broken into seven tasks that are based on science and driven by an anchor question. These are questions a young person may ask about COVID-19, such as: 

  • How can keeping distance from others help?
  • How can covering our noses and mouths protect us?
  • Why is COVID-19 impacting families and communities?

Hands-on Activities

Thoughtful activities included in the free science activity guide are based on solid scientific information. They help students discover answers to their questions, understand the science underlying the answers, and finally, act on their new scientific knowledge. Some activities included:

  • Learning a breathing exercise to reduce stress
  • Simulating the trajectory of respiratory droplets
  • Creating a tree diagram to illustrate contact tracing
  • Investigating the trustworthiness of news articles

Additional Resources

Each of the tasks also includes corresponding tips and resources. For example:

  • Physical safety tips
  • Emotional safety tips
  • Impactful quotes that support learning

This free science activity guide also includes a curated collection of links to trusted outside sources, such as the CDD and WHO, for additional learning tools. For instance:

  • Printable posters
  • Videos
  • Articles

Get My Free Smithsonian Activity Guide