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GutBugs@School 2018 (closed)

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Course Details

GutBugs@School is a professional learning and development course for teachers of Years 7 - 13 who are interested in developing learning programmes that explore the human microbiome and its impact on health and wellbeing OR use the GutBug Trial documentary to stimulate learning. 

The course comprises a full-day workshop accompanied by an online discussion programme. 

 This is science, BUT, this is not only for science teachers!



Jacquie Bay, Wayne Cutfield, Justin O’Sullivan and Ally Bull


GutBugs@School Workshop

Tuesday 27 November, 9am - 4pm
Owne Gilmore Theatre, N-Block, Room 380
University of Auckland Epsom Campus

  • The workshop will examine the science behind the Gut Bugs Study, explore the narratives inside the documentary, and unpack pedagogies that enable learning via exploration of complex social issues. 
  • In the afternoon teachers will be divided into interest groups to map opportunities for learning against curriculum objectives. 
  • The final session of the workshop will identify resources that might support schools to develop programmes centred on exploration of an aspect of this context.


GutBugs@School online forum

November 20 - 26: Participant interest groups established (e.g. science, biology, media studies, integrated studies, health.......).

November 29 to December 5:  Online discussion within interest groups



Costs and Registration


Teachers / Scientists: $100 + GST

Student Teachers: $50 + GST


To register please use the online registration available here

Online payment 

After completing your registration, please arrange for online payment to the link available here 


For further information please email LENScience 



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 trillions of bacteria that live inside and on the surface of our bodies. 95% of these microbes live inside the gut where they play a crucial role in how we digest and metabolise food. Just like any other ecosystem, evidence suggests that the more diverse our gut microbiome is, the healthier we are likely to be.

The Liggins Institutes’s Gut Bugs Trial is exploring the potential of manipulating the gut microbiome to help teenagers living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Believed to be a world first, the study has partnered with teenagers to answer this important question. Lean volunteers have donated stools which are treated so that the microbes from the guts of the volunteers can be put inside capsules. 87 teenage volunteers living with obesity were randomised. Half were treated with placebo capsules and half with the gut bug capsules.

The Good Sh*t is a three-part documentary that is following this human clinical trial. It tells the story of the science, the scientists, and some of the teenagers who are making this study possible. Seven online companion episodes are available along with the full episodes on