Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for infectious diseases now

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic. 

Infectious diseases in the news

This is an introductory activity which encourages students to begin to use newspapers and magazines to complement their SiS classes. It is intended to be used early on in the course and followed up by more detailed comprehension and critical reading activities later.
Teacher notes and student sheets (81 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (27 KB)

Arguments about food poisoning

This short activity is one of several designed to help students improve their argument skills. It introduces them to the basic structure of an argument and asks them to analyse and evaluate three arguments used in information about food poisoning.
Teacher notes and student sheets (143 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (54 KB)

Safer birth in Chad: Maternal mortality today

This activity focuses on health problems in Chad, to demonstrate that even when a scientific theory has been strongly supported by evidence and used for many years it will not always be adopted for complex social and economic factors. It introduces a discussion of some reasons for poor health in Low Income Countries today.
Teacher notes and student sheets (303 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (149 KB)

Measuring health

This activity looks at ways of measuring the health of a population. Students learn how to use scattergraphs to investigate correlations between health indicators and other factors that may affect health.
Teacher notes and student sheets (628 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (144 KB)
Data steet (16 KB)

LSS: Extracting key information from a scientific article at ‘first glance’LSS chart

Students learn about the basic structure and style of scientific articles by first testing their own ability to extract key information from such an article. The teacher led part of the activity will help students formalise their approach. It is important to note that the articles used here should be not be research papers, but should be less formal articles which are more accessible.
Teacher notes and student sheets (748 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (97 KB)
A vaccine for malaria article from Catalyst (1.0 MB)

Antibiotic role play

In this role play students have to explain the uses and limitations of antibiotics in their own words for a popular audience. It provides a good opportunity to clarify their understanding of antibiotics and to practice talking about what they know. It is best done at the end of the topic to reinforce the ideas.
Teacher notes and student sheets (390 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (103 KB)

LSS: Speed survey

Surveys are an important method of information retrieval, and this activity allows students to evaluate the process of collecting data from short interviews with their peers.
Teacher notes and student sheets (750 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (99 KB)

HIV discussion statements
These statements are a good way of starting a study of AIDS. They have proved very effective in stimulating interest and discussion. Their use may lead on to a more open discussion and information sharing session in some groups.
Teacher notes and student sheets (542 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (69 KB)

LSS: Let’s get critical

We’re all used to watching people, especially scientists, present their area of expertise, but what makes a presenter a good one, and would you do it differently? This activity develops the skills of giving and receiving constructive criticism on students’ own presentations.
Teacher notes and student sheets (758 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (105 KB)

Cells: animal cells, bacteria and viruses
This activity will revise the structure of an animal cell and the microorganisms that can cause disease. Students colour in labels and structures on a typical animal cell, a bacterial cell and a virus. It will take about 15 minutes.
Teacher notes and student sheets (804 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (208 KB)

LSS: Delving deeper into an article in the ‘second glance'

Having completed the activity ‘Extracting key information from a scientific article at first glance’, students now develop their ability to gain a more detailed sense of the structure and subject matter of an article.
Teacher notes and student sheets (751 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (102 KB)
'TB or Not TB' article from Catalyst (278 KB)

Spread of infectious diseases

This simple computer model allows students to visualise the spread of an infectious disease and to see how different parameters can affect the rate and extent of the spread. Students can quickly investigate different parameters. Discussion questions link the findings to the real world.
Teacher notes and student sheets (488 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (53 KB)
The model (440 KB)

Microbe sex/Antibiotic action

In this activity students, working in small groups, will make a movie showing microbe reproduction or antibiotic action. Although many students will have been taught about this topic, being able to make their own models helps understanding and recall of the information.
Teacher notes and student sheets (468 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (49 KB)

Visit to the Edward Jenner Museum

The Edward Jenner Museum at Berkeley, Gloucestershire is well worth a class visit if you are in the South West. Students can learn about the history of smallpox, Jenner’s work and the disease’s final eradication and also about modern understanding of immunology.
Teacher notes and student sheets (565 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (62 KB)

Exam Style Question On HIV

This question reviews some science explanations and the use of statistical indicators in the context of HIV. It also includes decision making about health care provision.
Teacher notes and student sheets (403 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (65 KB)

TB incidence and prevention- Exam style question

This question requires the interpretation of a graph showing trends in TB incidence. It then considers vaccination and the use of healthy volunteers in trials.
Teacher notes and student sheets (507 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (53 KB)