Attendance: 23 studentsLocation: Talento Sports Academy, Nicosia
The Talento Sports Academy was delighted to host Dr. Myrtani Pieri, for an engaging and interactive children’s activity called “Our Body: A Natural History Museum.” This unique event brought together kids aged 5-10 to discover the fascinating world of vestigial structures in our bodies and our ancestral animals.
Dr. Pieri began the session by warmly welcoming the children and introducing them to the concept of vestigial structures. These are body parts that have lost their original function over time due to evolution but still remain in our bodies. The kids were amazed to learn that our bodies carry traces of our evolutionary history, like a natural museum!
Dr. Pieri then led the children through a series of activities that helped them identify and understand various vestigial structures in their own bodies. From the tailbone to wisdom teeth, the kids were excited to discover these “hidden treasures” within themselves.
But the journey didn’t stop there. Dr. Pieri expanded the children’s curiosity by connecting these human vestigial structures to those found in other animals. Through captivating stories and images, she highlighted how the history of various species can be traced back through these seemingly insignificant body parts. The kids were especially thrilled to learn about the whales with tiny hind leg bones, and snakes with vestigial leg remnants.
As the session progressed, the children were encouraged to ask questions and participate in group discussions, fostering an atmosphere of curiosity and learning. Dr. Pieri’s enthusiasm and knowledge helped to make complex scientific concepts accessible and exciting for her young audience.
By the end of the activity, the kids left with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of our bodies and the evolutionary journey that has shaped us. “Our Body: A Natural History Museum” was a perfect example of how science outreach can inspire the next generation of scientists and spark lifelong curiosity in the natural world.
Dr Myrtani Pieri holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Oxford, UK. She also holds a Science Entrepreneurship diploma from Said Business School, University of Oxford.
She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Nicosia in Human Physiology. Dr Pieri’s research work focuses on Gastrointestinal track physiology and, in particular, the role of specific ingested micromolecules in tumorigenesis.