It takes a community

An extended activity about the world of epidemiology for 15 to 18-year-olds, developed by IRIS in partnership with the University of Bristol.
Skill level
Moderate /
Project partners

The global Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of STEM subjects and the role they play not only in a health emergency but society as a whole. In particular, we have all become more aware of how key it is that different disciplines work together from doctors and nurses to data scientists, sociologists and epidemiologists. It really does ‘take a community’ to overcome a pandemic.


The Institute for Research in Schools and the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol have created this extended activity to help students to:

  • develop an understanding of the diverse STEM roles that play an important part in managing a public health emergency.
  • appreciate the critical role of data, its use, and its interpretation during a public health emergency.
  • recognise the importance of collaboration between scientists.

The lesson is designed to take around 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours and can be delivered as one session or split over several sessions.

It is an opportunity to practice statistical skills that you’ve learnt in the classroom and see how these skills are valuable and useful.

Philippa GardomUniversity of Bristol