Student Exploration: Disease Spread
Vocabulary: disease, epidemic, infect, infectious disease, pathogen
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
Why do you think it is important to cover your mouth when you cough?
Why should you always wash your hands before you eat?
When a person has a disease, his or her normal body functions are disrupted. Some diseases, such as diabetes and most cancers, are not spread from one person to another. But other diseases, such as the flu and strep throat, can be spread. These diseases are known as infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other agents known as pathogens.
In the Disease Spread Gizmo™, you will be able to
observe how various pathogens can spread through a group of people. Click Play () and observe.
Describe what happened on the SIMULATION pane:
Look at the color key on the bottom right of the Gizmo. What is happening when a person changes color?
Get the Gizmo ready:
x Click Reset ( ). x On the CONTROLS tab under Active Diseases, turn off Foodborneand turn on Person to person.
x Set the Number of people to 5.
Question: What factors affect how quickly a pathogen spreads from person to person?
Predict: Some pathogens are spread directly from one person to another. This can happen when people come into direct contact or share items, such as drinking glasses. What do you think might affect how quickly a pathogen is spread from person to person?
Identify: Select the SIMULATION tab on the left and the TABLE tab on the right. (You will want the table tab open to answer question C.)
What does the purple person represent?
Click Play, and observe the simulation for a while. What must happen for the disease to spread?
How long did it take to infect five people?
Experiment: Click Reset. Change the Number of people to 15. Click Play, and record how long it takes to infect five people. Then repeat the experiment when there are 25 people and 35 people in the room.
Interpret: Study the data you collected. What trend do you see in the data, and how would you explain it?
(Activity A continued on next page)
Activity A (continued from previous page)
Experiment: Not all pathogens are equally infectious. Click Reset. Set the Number of people to 20. Under Probability of transmission, select Low for Person to person.