Fermilab LInC Online

Bugs B Gone

Scenario

Summary

Student Pages

Rubric

Index of Projects

Background/Context

From antibacterial soap to childrensą toys manufactured with antibacterial surfaces, with all the precautions today people assume they have eradicated disease and infection. Yet, we continue to see outbreaks of illness. Where do we find the most bacteria at school and what can we do to prevent illness? This is the task middle school science students will tackle.

Beginning/Getting Started

Our saga begins as the seventh grade science class receives a email message from school administrators distressed over high rates of absences due to infections in school. The email enlists the aid of the science students to search out and destroy the bugs. You can just hear the class. "Germs - Yuck." "Here at our school. Ick." " I just drank out of the water fountain. I want a doctor." Students will begin with preliminary internet research which will lead to more questions, they will address via email to local university professors acting as expert advisors for the groups.

Enervated by their exciting research, students are now ready for the collection and development of cultures. Deciding how many plates they need and where they will collect their samples will be a critical moment in group dynamics. The number of collections are restricted by how many plates are available for all the students. This will create certain tensions in the groups as they make their final choices. Each group may have five plates. They must then brainstorm as a class where they would collect their samples. This is probably one of the hardest parts of the project because everyone wants to go to the same place. You can just hear the voices rise as they argue over which group deserves the choice site. Students should be given an opportunity find a way to distribute the wealth. One of the hardest things is to take a step back and give them room to make this work. Samples will be collected, labeled and places in the incubator. The next class will collect the data from their samples and project is ready to move into the final phase.

Middle/In Progress

Students are now ready for the collection and development of cultures. They have to decide how many plates they need and where they will collect their samples. The number of collections are restricted by how many plates are available for all the students. Each group could have five plates. They must then brainstorm as a class where they would collector their samples. This is probably one of the hardest parts of the project because everyone wants to go to the same place. Students should be given an opportunity find a way to distribute the wealth. One of the hardest things is to take a step back and give them room to make this work. Samples will be collected, labeled and places in the incubator. The next class will collect the data from their samples and project is ready to move into the next phase. Students are now ready to visit the computer lab to pull their information together, using database and spreadsheet and graphing tools.

End/Culmination

Students are now ready to visit the computer lab to pull their information together, using database and spreadsheet and graphing tools. As a group they will look at the applications available and decide which to use to present their work. They may choose from the standard lab report that depends on word processing, data base and spreadsheet, and multimedia avenues which include PowerPoint or Hyperstudio slideshows and web sites. Each group will consider which applications will best suit their needs as they summerize their findings and begin to come to some conclusions about how to solve the problem. At this point they will probably depend a great deal on emailing their university expert for advice. As this is to be the area students direct, after analysis, they must then determine, based on their results, what needs to be done and how to report this to the principal. If results merit it, they will need to look at what suggestions they will make to help and how to present the suggestions.


Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Lisa Parker from Montilieu Avenue Elementary School (lisa7oo7@aol.com), Steve Abondolo from Northwest Middle School(abondolo@nr.infi.net), and Pat Abondolo(pabondolo@hotmail.com) from St. Pius X School
Greensboro, North Carolina
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: April 18, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/yourfoldername/scenario.html