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Small but powerful – the virus

Right now, a virus is changing the lives of many people in the world. In order not to be infected with the Coronavirus, many people stay at home. But what exactly are viruses, and why can they become so dangerous? This week, we will show you how viruses work and how they multiply even though they are not living beings. Welcome to Pop-Up Science virus week!

Activities for this week:

Book recommendation – Willi Virus – Aus dem Leben eines Schnupfenvirus

Nobody likes him and everyone wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. However, Willi Virus is not exactly a nice fellow to be with either! Owing to him, we get a dripping or blocked nose, watery eyes and sometimes headaches.
 Willi is a cold virus, also called Rhinovirus. Nearly every human being gets in contact with Willi or his relatives throughout their lives. Fortunately, Willi is not a dangerous virus. His cousin, Cordula Corona, however, is more dangerous! But what exactly happens when Willi, Cordula or other viruses visit our body? What exactly are scavenger cells, defense cells or memory cells? And how can we protect ourselves from infection?
Answers to these and other questions can be found in the book Willi Virus – Aus dem Leben eines Schnupfenvirus. This book has received the Austrian Children's and Youth Book Prize (Österreichischer Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis) in 2016. Here are the details of the book:

Title: Willi Virus – Aus dem Leben eines Schnupfenvirus
 Author/ Illustrator: Heidi Trpak, Leonora Leitl
 Publisher: Tyrolia Verlag
 Language: German
 3rd edition (updated in March 2020)
 From 5 years of age
 ISBN: 978-3-7022-3486-7

Virus expert Julia Stanger

Are all viruses bad? Why do we need to use a needle for vaccinations? Is it dangerous to work in a virus lab? – Virus researcher Julia Stanger answers your questions in today’s Pop-up Science Interview!

Watch the corresponding video on YouTube (German only)

VirusSCOPE – Inside a virus testing lab

How do we know, if someone has a virus or not? This is what you’ll find out in our testing lab game. Watch how Eva and Elisabeth diagnose their toy patients and print out the game description to hunt down viruses yourself!

VirusSCOPE was developed by Robert Beattie and Florian Pauler from the Hippenmeyer group. Find out more at

Be smarter than the virus – Wash your hands the right way!

Washing your hands is a great way to protect yourself from viruses that are sticking to your hands. But how can you be sure that you catch all viruses? Watch our video to find out how to use finger paint to check your handwashing technique!

Tips for washing your hands the right way are in our instructions.

Watch the corresponding video on YouTube (German only)

What is a virus, and how does it work?

Viruses are tiny structures that infect humans and animals. But how and why do they do this? Here, we have gathered some information for you. Did you know, for example, that viruses are not even alive?

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