Understanding the Epidemiologic Triangle through Infectious Disease

Working the Epidemiologic Triangle

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This activity will get students interested in infectious diseases by discussing and charting their own experiences. Students will, without knowing it, act like young epidemiologists.

The activity also will help you teach about the scientific concept of the Epidemiologic Triangle using an infectious disease example. Once students understand the Triangle, they can apply it to other diseases they study. This exercise will refine research, reasoning, and problem solving skills.

You will present the Epidemiologic Triangle to students and show them how it helps organize information about a specific disease. This is the same technique that epidemiologists use when they are researching the outbreak of a disease.

You will use the example of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in describing the three vertices (corners) of the Epidemiologic Triangle. Those vertices are "agent," "host," and "environment." After this in-class introduction, students will gather information about chickenpox and report back to the class on what they have learned.

Relevant Standards
This activity fulfills science and health education standards.

Students will:

BAM! Body and Mind Resources: