Disease Outbreak

WANTED: Doctors, detectives, and scientists to crack the mystery of a recent epidemic ravaging the EXPLO community.

ALERT! ALERT! Eight EXPLO staff members are in quarantine, covered head to toe in strange spots and boils. We’ve ruled out the obvious — chickenpox, measles — and fear it could be something much more dangerous. We need to identify what is causing this mysterious outbreak and contain it before it becomes an epidemic. To help us better understand the outbreak, you’ll catalogue vital signs of the afflicted — looking for irregularities that might give us clues as to the nature of the malady and how it is being transmitted. You’ll conduct a sneeze simulation and probability test (to predict the disease’s path), and will collect, plate, and grow bacterial specimens (to discover how the disease spreads). All the while, you’ll keep the campus informed of best practice safety measures (based on what you discover) as you isolate the source of the outbreak. It’s a race against the clock, starting… NOW!

Plan your summer


Course Highlights

  • Learn lab safety techniques for various scientific procedures including plated specimen collection

  • Analyze the (potential) spread of germs and bacteria amongst a residential population

  • Interview, assess, and monitor patients afflicted with a mysterious EXPLO-based ailment

  • Develop a public health campaign to educate the community about your scientific findings

I learned a lot about bacteria. We learned about the difference between antibiotics and vaccines. We did a lot of agar plating and learned how they are used. Then we got to test antibiotics on bacteria that we collected from around Wheaton College.