Parents and Teachers: Epidemic!

Unit Overview
Students read a story about Dr. Snow and his quest to find the source of cholera.  The STEM explorations chosen help students understand microbes. Since we would require a microscope to actually see a bacteria or virus, these experiments are indirect ways of "observing" microorganisms.

All the materials in this unit can be obtained locally.

STEM Content
   Science Content: Microorganisms, bacteria, yeasts, bacterial reproduction, disease, epidemiology.
   Technology:  Using materials at hand and makeshift tools helps focus on practical technology.
    Engineering:  Testing of mask materials is an example of an engineering exploration.
    Literacy: Students are able to read about diseases through content links. Students can keep data, notes, and diagrams to explain their observations in a STEM journal.


Assessment of student progress in this unit depends on the nature of goals and objectives set.  Given below are suggestions for assessing students for any work in this unit:

Science Content:  Objective questions about the nature of microorganisms can be posed to assess students' knowledge of vocabulary.

STEM Habits of Mind and Engineering Standards:  One characteristic of STEM professional is a series of  habits of the mind.  Is the student asking questions? Reading about the topic? Following directions?  Using tools and materials carefully? Trying different combinations of materials? Recording observations and actions properly?  Working with others collaboratively?  Teacher/Parent observation and feedback can work to hone these skills.  See: and a scoring guide at: