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Transmission of infectious diseases demo

  1. Aug 2, 2004 #1


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    I ran across this while looking for physics demos. I can't use it, but it seems to have so many interesting possibilities - like limiting interactions to 6, etc (the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, thing).


    This activity demonstrates the transmission of infectious agents and is great to use with the entire class. It can take as long as you want it to to run. Use it as a minilab or an introduction to a new unit. Materials needed include clear plastic cups or beakers, saltwater, fresh water and a small amount of silver nitrate solution.

    In advance, speak to two students. Ask one not to interact (mix) with anyone and ask the other to interact with as many people as possible. The one student whom you have asked to interact will begin with a half a glass of clear saltwater while the rest of the of the students will receive the same amount of fresh water in their cups. Ask the students to interact with other students by pouring their water into the other persons glass and then having the other person pour half the liquid back into their glass. After a few minutes stop the interactions. Drop one drop of the silver nitrate solution into each cup and explain that if it turns cloudy then they had become infected. Many interesting avenues can be taken with this activity. If students keep track of whom they interacted with and in which order, the class can actually determine who was the original infected person. This is similar to how health officials try and trace the progress of an infectious disease.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2004 #2
    Why are there only two students in the demo ?
    In order to be more interesting and *adventurous*, that demo I think should be improved by increasing the number of students playing in the same classroom, doing the same thing and asking other students in another class to give out answers...:wink:
    This is a demo anyway, but I think infectious diseases's viruses have abilities of multiplying themselves, which means any *guesses*, even when they are correct, become useless then. Don't you think so, Bob ? :wink:
  4. Aug 2, 2004 #3


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    All of the students in the class are in the demo. The behavior of two of the students are controlled. The rest of the students are on their own as to how they interact.

    I have to admit I don't know that much about viruses, but surely it's at least a good demo on the spread sexually transmitted diseases. :uhh: Uh, maybe better save that one for the older students.
  5. Aug 3, 2004 #4
    Better show them *before* it's too late.. like in elementary school...
  6. Aug 3, 2004 #5
    Last year before highschool.
    In holland this is already done in a lot of schools (ok not a simulation like this).
    There is nothing wrong with sexual education, its not sex lessons.
    Anyway i thinks its way more effective than asking ppl not to have sex anyway *cough*bush*cough*moron*cough* (djeezz asking not to have sex to a kid in puberty :P)
  7. Aug 3, 2004 #6
    Okay, i am terribly sorry for misunderstanding and being out of line.

    I actually have never known of any STDs demos before, my knowledge about biology is completely zero. :biggrin: :wink:

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2004
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