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Cirion Foundation

the impact of infectious diseases


Viruskenner is an education module for primary and secondary school students that aims to involve young people in education on infectious diseases. During the 2-month project the students are challenged to create a prevention method or tool for a virus infection.

Viruskenner is a concept that started in 2007 at a single school in the Netherlands and developed into an international project in 2015. Indonesia, Suriname and Senegal participated in the Viruskenner project. In 2017 the module was expanded with an e-learning module, to enable more students to participate in the program. 

Viruskenner starts with an energetic kick-off day. On this day, experienced scientists will give lectures on viruses and answer questions from students. During the following eight weeks, the students work in small groups to gain knowledge and prepare a presentation for their chosen prevention method. Examples of viruses the students will study are Ebola, dengue, hepatitis C and MERS. The teams will present their prevention methods on an exciting final day for all the other participants. The best prevention method will be awarded with the Viruskenner price of 2015. During a knowledge quiz at the final day all students show what they have learned.

Laura Doornekamp evaluated the impact of Viruskenner as education module on the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of the secondary school students. Data is collected from questionnaires, quiz outcomes, interviews with teachers and website and social media users. Kifah Shoker did interviews with people involved in the module to closely look into how they experience the Viruskenner project.

Viruskenner at a primary school in the Netherlands


Viruskenner at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for all participating Technasia secondary schools.


A Final Day of Viruskenner in Suriname of a secondary school


And the kick-off of the project at a primary school in Paramaribo


 Kick-off Viruskenner in Indonesia