Spread of Infectious Disease

In today’s lesson, the students modeled a disease outbreak through an activity where they spread an “infection” through the class by sharing contents of a cup with one another. At the start of the activity, only one of the students was “infected” and through multiple rounds, the infection spread. By the third round, eight students were infected! After graphing their results, they realized that the number of infections was doubling every round, and learned that this is called exponential growth. Disease can spread very fast and quickly infect a very large part of a population. We ended the lesson by focusing on healthy habits or methods of prevention and elimination efforts. So far, only one human disease has been successfully eradicated through vaccination: smallpox. Guinea worm, though not through vaccinations, is also very close to being eradicated!

Propagación de Enfermedades Infecciosas

En la lección de hoy, los estudiantes modelaron un brote de enfermedad a través de una actividad en la que propagaron una “infección” a través de la clase compartiendo el contenido de una taza entre sí. Al comienzo de la actividad, solo uno de los estudiantes estaba “infectado” y, a través de varias rondas, la infección se propagó. En la tercera ronda, ocho estudiantes se infectaron! Después de graficar sus resultados, se dieron cuenta de que el número de infecciones se duplicaba en cada ronda y se dieron cuenta de que esto se llama crecimiento exponencial. La enfermedad puede propagarse muy rápidamente e infectar rápidamente a una gran parte de la población.

Terminamos la clase hablando sobre hábitos saludables o métodos de prevención. Hasta ahora, la única enfermedad humana que ha sido exitosamente erradicada a través de la vacunación, es la viruela. La enfermedad por el gusano de Guinea está muy cerca de ser erradicada. Translated with Google Translate

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Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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