For Middle and High
Imagine that your car is packed for a long-anticipated vacation
with your family. A strange car pulls into the driveway. It's the
local health commissioner, who insists that you delay your trip while
your son is examined. She suspects he might have been exposed to
a bacterial infection. What do you do? Use the Epidemic!
A Fred Friendly Seminar website to discuss and debate these and
other current dilemmas in public health.
Give your students a primer on epidemiology, the scientific method
of problem solving used by "disease detectives" to get to the root
of health problems in a community. Have students go on a mission
to hunt for microbes or to solve a real mystery as disease detectives.
Whether the problem is a measles outbreak on a small college campus
or a global influenza pandemic, disease detectives begin by looking
for clues like investigators at the scene of a crime. They systematically
gather information about what happened: Who is sick? What are their
symptoms? When did they get sick? Where could they have been exposed
to the illness? Using statistical analysis, investigators study the
answers to these questions to find out how a particular health problem
was introduced into a community. Go to CDC's
EXCITE website for a full menu of background and resource information,
teaching aids, and case scenarios for your students to tackle!
Using the history of epidemics in the immigrant ghettoes of turn-of-the-century
New York--and the public health measures they led to--this activity
asks students to research recent episodes when diseases like colds
or flu spread through their school. It also asks them to think of
public health measures that might stop a disease from spreading again.
Go to PBS
Learning Adventures Lesson Plans on Epidemic!
Soapy Solutions or Fun
Banner microbe: Adenovirus (virus
causing common cold)
from the American
Museum of Natural History Epidemic! exhibition
Teacher's Guide | Epidemic! | Exhibits