Part of Unit: Laboratory Techniques and Safety
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This is a two day experience that will ask students to apply what they have learned in prior life science coursework about viruses to a simulated epidemiological outbreak. There are two levels of this lab; high tech (for those wanting to perform Western Blot techniques), and low tech (for those without supplies or funding, or for younger students).
- Two class periods at
- 57 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- HSMT.A.A3.1 Understand recombinant DNA, genetic engineering, monoclonal antibody production,...
- HSMT.FS.11.0 Demonstration and Application
- HSMT.FS.5.4 Examine multiple options for completing work tasks by applying appropriate probl...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.3 Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched.2
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis...3
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
- S.9-12.IE.1.a Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes,...
- S.9-12.LS.10.d Students know there are important differences between bacteria and viruses with ...1
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
Objectives and Goals
- Students will review viral structure and replication
- Students will demonstrate viral transmission simulation and diagnosis of infection
- Students will demonstrate how to perform a Western Blot (advanced)
- Students will work in collaborative teams to identify the original carrier of the disease (Patient Zero)
Activities in this Lesson
- Anticipatory Set - Option 1 - Hooks / Set
As students enter my classroom, I will have posted at each lab station a mock Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health issuance regarding a viral outbreak at the school site. I will ask the students to read the notice and highlight what they believe is the most important information to discern from the notice. After marking the text, I would ask the students (in their small groups, either 2 or 4), to list 5 things they know about viruses. I would have a few teams share out their ideas (which allows me to identify content knowledge gaps and misconceptions regarding viruses that I can quickly address in the direct instruction portion of the lesson).
- CDC Alert for "Jaguar Flu" [ Download ] A mock CDC alert regarding a "Jaguar Flu" outbreak at our high school
- Anticipatory Set - Option 2 - Hooks / Set
As students come in to class, I would show the opening to the film “Outbreak” where the CDC viral labs are highlighted with each respective level of the structure housing increasingly virulent microbes. Following this, I would distribute the mock CDC public health issuance regarding the “Jaguar Flu” and continue the set as detailed above.
- Outbreak - part 1 [ Go to Site ]
- Direct Instruction - Lecture
This can be done via power point (I will include a Powerpoint presentation to download on the CTE website). While this is happening though, it will be important to address the misconceptions and knowledge gaps that will be individualized to each class population. Information covered in direct instruction will include:
1. What is epidemiology?
2. What are the various levels of disease progression?
3. What diagnostics are used to identify viral infections?
4. What are the lab procedures for the Western Blot (advanced) / “Jaguar Flu” (low tech)
5. Focus on careers in disease “hunting” and actual transmission rates (small clip of “Outbreak” – the projection of the spread of the Motaba virus throughout the United States, or “And the Band Played On” segment detailing the national and global statistics of the spread of HIV in the 1970’s and 1980’s).
- Lab Procedure Video for Western Blot (2:30) [ Go to Site ] This is a quick video of the actual Western Blot lab technique
- What is epidemiology? [ Go to Site ] This is a quick video to introduce the career field of epidemiology. (7 minutes)
- Transmission rate graphic [ View Image ] [ Download Original ]
- Check for Understanding - Other
Based on what was just covered, students (either by themselves or in pairs), will create a 5 part flow chart demonstrating their understanding of the role of the epidemiologist. This should take no more than 5 minutes. I will circulate around the room and ask questions to check for understanding.
- Modeling (pre-lab) for both - Demo / Modeling
Students will be given limited information regarding the purpose of fluid transfer until after the transmissions are complete (this helps keep the process more random and usually results in a better transmission pattern). I model proper fluid transmission for the students. Using a pipette and a test tube filled with an unknown clear liquid (all students except one have a sample of water, the one student has diluted sodium hydroxide NaOH). I demonstrate that all students need to take a few drops out of their test tube and place it inside the test tube of another student. After that, I put the remainder of the solution in the pipette back into the original test tube (so that the pipette is completely empty before conducting a second transfer). The second and third transfers then would be a recombined solution between the original and the sample given by the other student. Each student should transfer fluids with three different individuals in class. Depending on the maturity and demeanor of the class, I will moderate transfer times to keep everyone on task. If the students are capable, I give them five minutes to make their three transfers (I play soft music during this part and turning it off indicates the end of this portion of the activity.
At the end of this activity, I explain that the average American engages in three risky behaviors in their lifetime (unprotected sex, IV needle sharing, etc.), and the three fluid transfers just simulated that. Although their fluids all look the same (translucent, transparent), some of the students are infected with Jaguar Flu. We can then move on to the diagnostic portion of our activity.
Depending on time, I remind them that three is just an average, and many people engage in risky behaviors that leave them open to infection far more often than that. There is a small video clip of "Patient Zero" for HIV from the movie "And The Band Played On", where he is being interviewed by an epidemiologist and he admits to thousands of casual sexual encounters without any sort of protection. The clip is linked below if you wish to use it. (from :20 to 1:16)
- Lab - Low Tech - Lab / Shop
For the diagnostic phase, I ask each student to use an indicator solution to test for the presence of the viral antibodies. If the person has been infected with the Jaguar Flu, their solution will turn pink in the presence of the indicator.
If a person has a sample which indicates they are a patient of Jaguar Flu, they must wear an "infected" sign to indicate to the epidemiologists that they are contaminated.
I will put a video on the site of my students doing this in the coming week or two.
- Lab - High Tech (Western Blot) - Lab / Shop
For the more advanced student (or for the more well endowed laboratories), students will perform the Western Blot to test for viral antibodies.
1. Pipette 2 microliters of their sample onto nitrocellulose film (do not touch the film with your fingers, please use forceps).
2. Allow the nitrocellulose to dry for 1 minute
3. Place the nitrocellulose in a tray and add 10 ml of milk solution
4. Incubate overnight in the refrigerator
1. Add 5 microliters of secondary antibodies and mix (keep the antibodies on ice while using them)
2. Incubate 15 minutes with occasional shaking
3. Pour off the antibody and milk mixture
4. Rinse the nitrocellulose three times with 10ml of rinse solution (all recipes are attached) per wash (each wash should be about 1 minute).
5. Add 10ml of rinse solution to the developer chemicals (see recipe list) and mix well.
6. Pour off the last rinse and add 10ml of developer solution
7. Incubate until you can see a color change (approximately 2 minutes) with occasional agitation.
8. Wash the nitrocellulose in water and record results:
positive for jaguar flu = purple color
negative for jaguar flu = no color
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Observations, presentation
Once the lab is complete, and we have a list of who is infected and who is not, I divide the class into two teams. One assumes the role of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the other group assumes the role of USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases). I can add a third group, if my class is large (use a private epidemiological corporation like Novartis). I will explain that I am awarding a hypothetical grant of a new biotechnology lab to the institutuion that effectively maps the pathway the disease took through the population, who was "Patient Zero", and can justify their findings. Students have assumed roles within their groups of interviewers, mappers, and presenters (I work with them regarding choosing roles which align with their learning styles).
Students will also complete a writing based reflective piece (worksheet attached), and fill out a rubric for their participation in the lesson (rubric attached).