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Outbreak at Watersedge


Found In: health & p.e., science, 3-5, 6-8

Outbreak at Watersedge assigns students in grades 4-8 an intern’s role in a public health team investigating an outbreak of severe diarrhea. The game takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and can be used by guidance counselors and science and health teachers. A CD version is available.

After signing on, students meet their team leader and begin to analyze interviews and map patients’ movements before they became ill. This mapping strategy was first used by Dr. John Snow during the London Cholera epidemic of 1854. When mapping has indicated a site of interest, students visit the site to collect information and take notes. The team leader’s assessment of collected information will help direct further investigation. A second round of interviews helps pinpoint areas to obtain samples. A review of field notes and the results of lab tests on the samples determines the source of the outbreak. As students investigate the outbreak , they conduct interview, collect information, and take samples. Along the way, any mistakes are indicated and corrections explained.

A Kiosk provides information on zoonotic diseases, the London Cholera outbreak of 1854, and Cryptosporidium and features three brief videos about the public health team, public health professionals, and shortcomings in private health that affect public health. The Kiosk provides links to more information on public health.

A Teacher’s Guide lists objectives and health careers.

At the bottom of the homepage for Outbreak at Watersedge, a link to Epidemic!, a new online single or multiplayer game, is provided. An Instructor’s Guide  ( PDF, 1 MB, 11 pgs.) suggests that each game should last 30 — 60 minutes depending on each player’s participation.

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