Type:

Interactive, E-book

Description:

Students pass a contagion, Serratia marcescens (non-pathogenic, opportunistic bacteria that forms bright red bacterial colonies), through a series of recorded handshakes. The gloves used in the handshakes are swabbed after the first 2 handshakes and after the fourth. ANy errors in procedure can be discussed with reference to problems in reposting in actual epidemiological studies. I first created this lab while teaching a non-science major course in Microbiology at San Diego State University in 1972.

This is an excellent laboratory for developing critical thinking skills.

Subjects:

  • Health > General
  • Science > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12
  • Higher Education
  • Graduate
  • Undergraduate-Upper Division
  • Undergraduate-Lower Division

Keywords:

epidemiology disease critical-thinking

Language:

English

Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Update Standards?

SCI.9-12.BI.1.c: Science

Students know how prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells (including those from plants and animals), and viruses differ in complexity and general structure.

SCI.9-12.BI.10.a: Science

Students know the role of the skin in providing nonspecific defenses against infection.

SCI.9-12.BI.10.d: Science

Students know there are important differences between bacteria and viruses with respect to their requirements for growth and replication, the body's primary defenses against bacterial and viral infections, and effective treatments of these infections.

SCI.9-12.BI.10.e: Science

Students know why an individual with a compromised immune system (for example, a person with AIDS) may be unable to fight off and survive infections by microorganisms that are usually benign.

SCI.6.2.D: Science

construct tables and graphs, using repeated trials and means, to organize data and identify patterns; and

SCI.6.4.A: Science

use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information, including journals/notebooks, beakers, Petri dishes, meter sticks, graduated cylinders, hot plates, test tubes, triple beam balances, microscopes, thermometers, calculators, computers, timing devices, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum; and

SCI.6.4.B: Science

use preventative safety equipment, including chemical splash goggles, aprons, and gloves, and be prepared to use emergency safety equipment, including an eye/face wash, a fire blanket, and a fire extinguisher.

SCI.7.1.A: Science

demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations as outlined in the Texas Safety Standards; and

SCI.7.4.A: Science

use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information, including life science models, hand lens, stereoscopes, microscopes, beakers, Petri dishes, microscope slides, graduated cylinders, test tubes, meter sticks, metric rulers, metric tape measures, timing devices, hot plates, balances, thermometers, calculators, water test kits, computers, temperature and pH probes, collecting nets, insect traps, globes, digital cameras, journals/notebooks, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum; and

SCI.7.4.B: Science

use preventative safety equipment, including chemical splash goggles, aprons, and gloves, and be prepared to use emergency safety equipment, including an eye/face wash, a fire blanket, and a fire extinguisher.

SCI.8.1.A: Science

demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations as outlined in the Texas Safety Standards; and

SCI.8.2.D: Science

construct tables and graphs, using repeated trials and means, to organize data and identify patterns; and

SCI.8.4.B: Science

use preventative safety equipment, including chemical splash goggles, aprons, and gloves, and be prepared to use emergency safety equipment, including an eye/face wash, a fire blanket, and a fire extinguisher.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2012-06-28.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This lab is appropriate and engaging for middle or high school students. In a “hands-on” twist to the traditional base/phenolphthalein exchange, students use candy-coated gloves (one students’ glove presumably has the addition of bacteria) to shake hands with their classmates, then each student swabs his or her glove and plates the sample. From the information tab, we learn that the bacteria used are Serratia marcescens (a non-pathogenic, opportunistic bacteria that forms bright red bacterial colonies). This is a wonderful lab experience but, although the activity is very clear in the mind of the contributing educator, newer educators may need a more thorough write-up in order to adequately implement this activity in their own classrooms. For instance, the lesson plan may want to describe or provide additional resources for a teacher who needs review of “basic bacteriologic techniques.” Additionally, there are no explicit instructions for teacher-set up, namely how the bacteria is introduced to the candy in order to “infect” one student initially.
member-name
Markell Saunders
April 30, 2013

This lab is definitely hands on as it puts the use of the scientific Method, deductive reasoning, epidemiology, and knowledge of bacterial diseases into action. Students gain experience on why lab safety is important if this were a more serious bacteria and why following instructions is vital. Most of all it tests their reasoning skills as they learn to deduce the spread of possible outbreaks based on the sequence of events and the use of prior knowledge about bacteria or viruses. However, I was a bit confused with the results of one of the class periods, maybe their should be a key for reading and understanding it.

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