Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

The summer song "Clever in Sonne und Schatten"

The result of an educational outreach activitiy with school kids of the Projekt "Die Sonne und Wir", aiming at increasing their awareness towards UV-exposure and thereby triggering changes in behavioral pattern as a primary preventive strategy to decrease skin cancer in adults.

The summer song "Clever in Sonne und Schatten"

The Project “Die Sonne und Wir” is a public educational outreach activity for children aiming at increasing their awareness towards sun exposure - a primary preventative strategy to decrease skin cancer rates in adults. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a major risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Exposure to UVR can occur naturally via sunlight and/or artificially through the use of sun lamps and tanning beds.

UV protection is already important during childhood - proven by the current incidence of skin cancer: approx. 265.000 new cases of skin tumors are registered every year all over Germany, therefrom more than 30.000 are cases of malignant melanoma.

The skin of children requires special protection from the sun. “UV-damaging of skin during childhood and youth is significantly responsible for the emergence of skin cancer in later years”, so Prof. Dr. Dr. Cornelia Mauch (Dept. of Dermatology and Center for Integrated Oncology).

A child’s skin is extremely sensitive. This fact is determined by two factors: the UV-sensitive stem cells in the skin of children lie much nearer to the skin surface than in the skin of adults, and therefore are more strongly exposed to UV radiation. The “danger signal” sunburn is also different: for children develop it much later than adults. The skin is already damaged when the sunburn can be seen on a child. If the DNA repair mechanisms are not able to correct the defects, this might be the trigger for the development of skin cancer in adults. However, the risk of skin cancer can be significantly reduced by simple changes in behavioral patterns by, e.g. avoiding the sun when the UV intensity is at its strongest, wearing protective clothing, opting for shade, and correctly applied sunscreen.

To increase children´s awareness of the negative and positive effects of UV radiation on the human body and to train them to avoid strong UV radiation (healthy behavior), the Project “Die Sonne und Wir” has been initiated. This primary skin cancer preventation strategy is based on an interdisciplinary approach that integrates natural science, medical, visual and haptic art components as well as health-care-based eduation complemented by performances. With experiments and interactive educational material developed together with the children and teachers of the projects´s partner schools gives insight into the three superstars: the sun, the skin and the shadow and how these three superstars relate.

The summer song „Clever in Sonne und Schatten“
As one example, we are pleased to present the videoclip „Clever in Sonne und Schatten“ performed by the school kids from our partner school "Gemeinschaftsgrundschule (GGS) / Offene Ganztagsschule (OGS) Bachemerstrasse, Köln“. The text, the melody and the choreography with tuned percussion tubes (so-called boomwhackers) are the outcome of the fruitful interaction with and feedback from the school kids of the „Liederwerkstatt AG“ headed by Egine Kreutzkamp (music pedagogue) and the team of the Project „Die Sonne und Wir“, headed by Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher.

In addition to the beat rhythm that is generated, the differently colored boomwackers represent the three solar radiations that hit the earth: the red boomwhackers stand for heat radiation, the yellow boomwhackers for the light and the violet boomwhackers for the UV radiation. Further examples are the representation of the U and V for the UV radiation with the boomwhackers.

“The school kids have been very dedicated and worked enthusiastically on the lyrics. They provided ideas for the songtext and the choreography including the pantomimic presentation with the help of boomwhackers and painted the pictures. It was great to work with them”, commented Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher.

Since 2015 the Project „Die Sonne und Wir“ headed by Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher and Prof. Dr. Dr. Cornelia Mauch is part of the so-called collaborative project „Clever in Sonne und Schatten“ and works jointly together with the „Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Prävention e.V.“, the „Universitäts KrebsCentrum Dresden“ and the „Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.

The summer song "Clever in Sonne und Schatten"


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