Epidemic! The Natural History of Disease.  At the San Diego Natural History Museum

At the Museum

When Human and Microbes Meet

Modify as needed to your students' levels.

Some microbes are helpful to humans, but some are harmful. The microbes below are disease-causing microbes.

nine microbes - AMNH ___ Malaria

___ Tuberculosis

___ Hepatitis B


___ Food poisoning

___ Strep throat

___ Influenza

___ Lyme disease

___ Giardiasis

Select one of the following infectious diseases to learn more about throughout the visit.


1. Malaria
2. Influenza
3. Tuberculosis
5. E.coli 0157:H7
6. Lyme disease

Divide up into six groups (one for each disease), answer the questions below as you view the exhibit, and then report your findings to the class.


1. Microbes and other disease-causing organisms, pathogens, come in five different types: viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths, and fungi. What type of microbe is the pathogen (disease-causing microbe) for your selected disease? How can you tell?


2. With your group, look for important facts about the microbe of your selected disease. Use the computer screens in each area of the exhibition. How does it enter the human body?


3. How can you protect yourself from this microbe?


4. What tip would you give to people around the world to help fight this disease?

[next page] Answers to Microbe Worksheet
Post-visit Activities

Banner microbe: Adenovirus (virus causing common cold)
from the American Museum of Natural History Epidemic! exhibition

Teacher's Guide | Epidemic! | Exhibits