This activity simulates how a pathogen can spread among a population. Students will exchange paper with one another to simulate the epidemiology of tracking an infectious agent. After this activity, the students should have a better understanding of how infectious agents spread from person to person and ways to prevent outbreaks. It can be adapted to a variety of scenarios. For example, the infectious agent could be HIV or another pathogen that is spread by human contact. 

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will be able to do the following:
  1. Use interaction data to determine how many people were exposed to a pathogen.
  2. Describe how different factors affect the number of people exposed to a pathogen.

Science Standards

This lesson addresses National Science Education Standards (1996):
  • Science as Inquiry – Use Appropriate Tools and Techniques to Gather, Analyze, and Interpret Data
  • Life Science – Structure and Function in Living Systems