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The 150th anniversary time capsule contest committee has selected February’s winning item. Dr. Dave Westenberg’s entry of a giant, stuffed COVID-19 microbe was chosen to go in one of the 3x3x3-inch boxes reserved for contest winners. The “giant” microbe measures 2 inches.
“My main motivation for choosing this entry is a reflection of my overall view of life as a microbiologist,” says Westenberg, professor of biological sciences at S&T.
“I have been using Giant Microbes in the classroom and in outreach for several years,” he says. “I give mini Giant Microbes like this to all our graduating seniors who request them. They are a great teaching tool to stimulate conversations about microorganisms and infectious diseases. Many Giant Microbes represent devastating diseases such as COVID-19 in a non-threatening way but it is important to not forget they represent a serious disease. The intention is not to make light of the disease but to find a way to make it easier for the general public to talk about it. Because of the impact COVID-19 has had during the 150th anniversary year, it seems appropriate to include a reminder of events in a way that will promote reflection.”
Eight more winners will be selected, one every month until October 2021. You can enter and get contest rules at 150.mst.edu.