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People, Pathogens, Pandemics: Tracking Down Killer Microbes

from Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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Your class has been recruited by the World Health Organization to review the case histories of three frightened patients who all shared a recent airplane flight.  Investigate infectious diseases around the world, including those newly discovered and others that have been around at least as long as recorded human history. Discuss how microbes can become resistant to previously effective therapies, and how specific human behaviors, like domestication of animals and extensive travel, facilitate the spread of pathogens. Is this truly the “Pandemic Age”, as some epidemiologists predict? Can you and your classmates analyze our simulated patients’ symptoms in time to save hundreds of lives? Find out during this (hopefully) healthy program.

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About This Program


By Request: $140.00
By Request Premium: $140.00


1 hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Minimum participants:

No minimum!

Maximum participants:

30 is our recommended limit for best participation.

Primary Disciplines

Health/Physical Education, Sciences

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to computer viruses, human viruses, or other circumstances beyond your control. Please give our hard-working schedulers the kindness of 48 hours notice if you must cancel your scheduled program.

About This Provider

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Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland, OH
United States

Our Mission Statement: To inspire, through science and education, a passion for nature, the protection of natural diversity, the fostering of health, and leadership to a sustainable future.
CMNH programs address appropriate Revised Ohio Academic Content Standards in Science and Social Studies, and the National Health Education Standards.

Matt Walters

Program Details


1.) Introduction of key terminology
2.) Student volunteers read case histories of simulated patients and try to link symptoms to their recent travels
3.) Discussion of ways that infectious agents can emerge or re-emerge as epidemics due to multiple factors including: changes or evolution of existing organisms, spread of known agents to new geographic areas, ecological transformations, anti-microbial resistance, breakdowns of public health measures and changes in technology.
4.) Students are asked to list specific behaviors in a school environment that may raise the risk of pathogen transmission.
5.) The solution to the mysterious illness is revealed at the end and discussed.


• Identify methods of infectious disease transmission (vector-borne, sexually transmitted, food-borne, airborne, direct contact)
• Define the terms “pandemic”, “epidemic” and “outbreak” and the geographic scale implied by each term.
* Work together with a team of students to analyze data from simulated patients, including recent travels, exposure to known pathogens, and symptoms.
• Understand that certain infectious agents pose a greater public health risk than others based on their ease of transmission or dissemination, mortality rates, potential for social disruption and level of public health preparedness.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

National Health Education Standards:
Grades 6-8: 1.8.1, 1.8.5, 1.8.6, 1.8.7, 1.8.8, 1.8.9, 3.8.4, 5.8.7, 7.8.1
Grades 9-12:1.12.1, 1.12.5, 1.12.8, 1.12.9, 3.12.4, 7.12.1

State Standards

See National Health Education Standards above.