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GutBugs@School 2019 (closed)


Course details


Suzanne Trask, Justin O’Sullivan, Wayne Cutfield, Alistair Kwan, Jacquie Bay


Participants will have access to an online portal and will participate in pre-workshop introductions, activities and discussions (28 October - 8 November).


GutBugs@School 2019 Workshop


Date: 6 November 2019

Location: Room 614, Building 6EN, N-Block, Epsom Campus, University of Auckland, Gate 4, Epsom Avenue, Epsom, Auckland 1023

Time: 8:30am-3pm



Date: 8 November 2019

Location: Tasman Room, Hotel Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman, 169 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington, 6011 

Time: 8:30am-3pm


The online course will support post-workshop collaborative discussions and development, sharing and curation of learning resources (8 November - 22 November).


Course participants will need to access the online course during the workshop. Please bring a laptop with you.


Course overview

Gut Bugs is a workshop for teachers who are interested in learning more about the fascinating world of the human microbiome and its complex relationship with health and disease. Workshop participants will meet and hear from Gut Bugs scientists as they explore the science of the Gut Bugs trial and the TV Three "The Good Sh*t" documentary series.


There will be opportunity to discuss and share ideas about possible learning programmes and activities with colleagues and Gut Bugs facilitators while reviewing Gut Bugs learning activities, resources and educational websites. Participants will make connections to the national curriculum, including the Nature of Science, science capabilities and science inquiry. Participants will explore the potential of narrative-based pedagogies as a learning tool. They will learn about the LENScience context-embedded learning model and related LENScience resources for learning through exploration of complex socio-scientific issues.


Background information

The microbiome is an explosive new research frontier that is redefining our understanding of nutrition and health. It’s all to do with the 30-40 trillion bacteria that live inside and on the surface of our bodies. Ninety-five percent of them live inside the gut where they play a crucial role in how we digest and metabolise food. Researchers are working to understand more about interactions between our gut microbiome and a wide range of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and depression.


Scientists at the Liggins Institute are conducting a world-first clinical trial into the treatment of obesity. The trial involves taking gut bacteria from the faeces of healthy, lean young people, and giving them in capsule form to teenagers who are clinically obese. This treatment is called GMT (gut microbiome transfer). The “Gut Bugs trial” is the subject of a three-part TV Three series, titled “The Good Sh*t” and funded by NZ On Air. It follows teenagers affected by obesity as they take capsules of healthy, lean people’s poo in the hope it will radically improve their health.  


Costs and registration

Teachers: $150 (GST incl.)

Student teachers: $75 (GST incl.)



Please note, registration for this course is now closed.


Online payment

If you have not already, please arrange for your payment to be submitted using one of the links below.

Teachers can submit their payments here.

Student teachers can submit their payments here.



For further information about the course or the workshop, please contact us.