The Pro-Vaccination Movement’s
By Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist
“You make me smile all over my face”
Ian Hobson, age 5
Here are the opening and closing PowerPoint slides from a remarkable presentation on vaccines…
What made this particular presentation unusual was the presenter: Malin Moeller, at the time a 5th grader at the Washington, DC, branch of Arizona-based charter school, BASIS.
Malin had been given a class assignment to create a presentation where she took a position and defended it.
What would make a school kid take on the topic of vaccinations? The fact that her dad is Karl Moeller, a VP at STC. So it’s a topic that comes up around the dinner table. Karl says of his daughter,
Malin came to me last year and said she had chosen vaccination as the topic for a “state and defend your opinion” project. I was proud, then panicked for a split second. “Will she be on my side?!?!”
She guffawed at my, “Which point will you argue?” question. “Please, Dad, I’m with science!”
Still, and to her credit, she looked at both sides, read about the pro and con arguments, then came down solidly on the value of vaccinations… all on her own.
Here’s our hope:
That Malin will help start a trend of school papers and presentations about vaccines. Malin herself liked that idea enough to pass along her PowerPoint presentation to help others with their preparation. It’s available at the end of this article and, as you’ll see, Malin did a first-rate job of arguing the case for immunizations.
Here’s our fear:
That teachers could discourage the topic, feeling that it’s “controversial.” As readers of publications like this one know, the only real controversy is how civil to be with those who oppose vaccinations. But when I asked if she had any opposition to her presentation, Malin explained,
My presentation was my end-of-year assignment. A lot of people came—a lot of teachers, and people’s parents. My Science teacher was there, and when I said that I was going to talk about whether vaccinations are good or bad, I saw his face and I could tell he was thinking, ‘Oh no, what’s she going to say?’
It’s sad that the topic should make a Science teacher squirm, but it only makes us more pleased that Malin fearlessly tackled it. She reports that her Science teacher end up being complimentary and no one in her audience disagreed with her. Once you see the thoroughness of her presentation, you’ll understand why no one would dare challenge her.
Karl added this final note about his daughter…
She had looked at the STC home page while researching, and asked if she could become an Immunization Ambassador… which she also did without my direction.
It is such a pleasure to watch my strong and determined young daughter learn about the world – she makes me so proud!
Malin continues to set a good example, mentioning, “I got my HPV shot the other day.”
Oh, and by the way, she got an “A” on that presentation.
Malin’s Powerpoint Slide Deck >>>
I love this article! Teaching about science at a young age is awesome and so needed. I also love that she's taking on the challenge of teaching her peers. What an amazing girl!
-Dannette Dronenburg, WA