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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

Interactive Activities

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RU Learning

What Is a Virus, Anyway?
What is a Virus, Anyway?What are they? How do they work? What happens to them when they infect us? How do scientists study viruses? Launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this resource website was created by the RockEDU Science Outreach Program to provide useful information and context on viruses in general and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in particular.

Using Open Data to Code an Interactive COVID-19 Map
Covid-19 MapData visualization, or “dataviz,” is one of the most important tools scientists have in effectively communicating complex data sets. By showcasing patterns and outliers, scientists can more easily draw conclusions in the age of “big” data. This has been particularly helpful during COVID-19 while scientists have sought to understand the virus’ spread. By exploring NYC open data for COVID-19 and using the free software program R Shiny, you can create your own interactive COVID-19 map. Rockefeller graduate student Caitlin Gilbert will take you through all of the steps to find and prepare open COVID-19 data to create a thematic map of the virus’ spread in NYC.

What is Dataviz? An Overview
Build Your Own Map

Explore Virus Symmetry with Paper Origami
Virus OrigamiThe majority of viruses maintain geometrical symmetry. Paper origami, the art of folding papers into specific shapes, sizes, and forms, is a great tool for visualizing and modeling the shapes of viruses. Learn more about well-known viruses and simply download, print, cut, and fold to visualize dengue virus, HIV, and Zika virus.

MAVE (Memes, Art, Videos, and Expressions)
MAVE logo imageMAVE is an opportunity for you to create posts, thoughts, and media about the topics discussed in this year’s Talking Science lectures. Tag us using #rutalkingscience when posting on your social media pages and your work will be displayed for all to see. A prize will be awarded for the most creative post for each lecture! So, what are you waiting for? Join in the fun and show us what a social media MAVE-n you are!

For more information about how to participate and the creative theme for each session, click HERE.

Additional Readings

Part I: Neutralizing Antibodies: Precision-guided Weapons against SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19 antibody development fueled by HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody research
Convergent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in convalescent individuals
Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Part II: Using Science to Advance Health Equity

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)
COVID-19 and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Part III: Viruses and Vaccines

Co-option of an endogenous retrovirus envelope for host defense in hominid ancestors
Escape from neutralizing antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variants

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Made possible through the generous support of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Family Science and Society Initiative


Shawn Davis
Outreach Programming and Events
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 164
New York, NY 10065