Epidemic

Author: Amy W.Farnbach

Area: Life Sciences

Grade Level: 7-8, but also appropriate for older students

Overview:

In this lesson, students will simulate an infectious disease outbreak in the school by passing a "disease" to one another by means of colored dot stickers. By observing, tracking, and analyzing the person-to-person spread of the disease, then proposing intervention measures to halt the epidemic, students will use techniques similar to those used by epidemiologists investigating real-world outbreaks of diseases such as influenza, staphylococcus, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

Standards:

National Science Education Standards:

Content Standards: 5 – 8

Content Standard A

Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry

Content Standard C

Populations and ecosystems

Content Standard F

Personal health; populations, resources, and environments; risks and benefits; science and technology in society

Content Standard G

Science as a human endeavor; nature of science

 

Arizona State Standards:

Seventh Grade

Strand 1: Inquiry Process

Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses

PO 1. Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.

Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling)

PO 5. Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.

Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions

PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends

PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events.

PO 3. Analyze results of data collection in order to accept or reject the hypothesis.

PO 4. Determine validity and reliability of results of an investigation.

PO 5. Formulate a conclusion based on data analysis.

PO 6. Refine hypotheses based on results from investigations.

PO 7. Formulate new questions based on the results of a previous investigation.

Concept 4: Communication

PO 1. Choose an appropriate graphic representation for collected data.

PO 2. Display data collected from a controlled investigation.

PO 3. Communicate the results of an investigation with appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative information.

PO 5. Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation.

Strand 2: History and Nature of Science

Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge

PO 1. Describe how science is an ongoing process that changes in response to new information and discoveries.

PO 2. Describe how scientific knowledge is subject to change as new information and/or technology challenges prevailing theories.

Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society

PO 1. Propose viable methods of responding to an identified need or problem.

PO 2. Compare solutions to best address an identified need or problem.

Strand 4: Life Science

Concept 3: Populations of Organisms in an Ecosystem

PO 3. Analyze the interactions of living organisms with their ecosystems: limiting factors, carrying capacity.

PO 4. Evaluate data related to problems associated with population growth and the possible solutions.

Eighth Grade

Strand 1: Inquiry Process

Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses

PO 1. Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.

PO 2. Use appropriate research information, not limited to a single source, to use in the development of a testable hypothesis.

PO 3. Generate a hypothesis that can be tested.

Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling)

PO 2. Design a controlled investigation to support or reject a hypothesis.

PO 3. Conduct a controlled investigation to support or reject a hypothesis.

PO 5. Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.

Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions

PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends.

PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events.

PO 4. Formulate a future investigation based on the data collected.

PO 5. Explain how evidence supports the validity and reliability of a conclusion.

PO 6. Identify the potential investigational error that may occur.

PO 8. Formulate new questions based on the results of a previous investigation.

Concept 4: Communication

PO 1. Communicate the results of an investigation.

PO 2. Choose an appropriate graphic representation for collected data.

PO 3. Present analyses and conclusions in clear, concise formats.

PO 5. Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation.

Strand 2: History and Nature of Science

Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge

PO 3. Defend the principle that accurate record keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator’s credibility with other scientists and society.

PO 4. Explain why scientific claims may be questionable if based on very small samples of data, biased samples, or samples for which there was no control.

Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society

PO 1. Propose viable methods of responding to an identified need or problem.

PO 2. Compare solutions to best address an identified need or problem.

Strand 4: Life Science

Concept 4: Diversity, Adaptation, and Behavior

PO 2. Describe how an organism can maintain a stable internal environment while living in a constantly changing external environment.

PO 4. Compare the symbiotic and competitive relationships in organisms within an ecosystem.

Keywords: disease, epidemic, epidemiology, health, medicine

Related Links:

Centers for Disease Control

Disease Cards

EXCITE

Steps of an Outbreak Investigation

Detectives in the Classroom: A Middle School and High School Epidemiology Curriculum

Downie Model Infectious Disease Curriculum

Epidemiology Education Movement

National Institutes of Health

Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases Curriculum Supplement

World Health Organization

Fact Sheets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Components

Lesson Plan  (pdf/doc)