Epidemiology at SMS

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determination of health problems, usually caused by the spread of diseases. Recently, GEAR UP invited Kristin Brandenburg from the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to speak with students in the 6th grade academy at SMS.

Mrs. Brandenburg spoke with students about how they could work to help prevent diseases through good hygiene practices. She also was able to perform a scientific experiment with the students using a kit ov...er epidemics, which was purchased through GEAR UP. Using the scientific method, students had to try and determine how disease was spread in a population.

GEAR UP Academic Specialist, Paula Clemons-Combs stated, “GEAR UP was so pleased to be able to provide this instructional kit for Mrs. Brandenburg to use with the students. These students were able to see how disease is spread and how an epidemic can form if methods aren’t used to prevent it.”

Alonzo Fugate, GEAR UP Academic Specialist, agreed. He stated, “The students were so excited to be able to do hands-on science. The kit and Mrs. Brandenburg’s instructions brought a new depth of understanding to these students. It allowed them to see the science facts come to life.”

Using the kits, the students were given test tubes filled with liquid. One of the students was given an “infected” tube of liquid which would change color when mixed with another chemical. Students traveled around the room, taking liquid samples from each others’ test tubes and mixing it with their own. Afterwards, Mrs. Brandenburg went around the room to see which students had been “infected.” The students were shocked to see how far the “disease” had spread around the room.

Audrey Clemons-Combs, a student at SMS, stated, “This experiment was cool. I learned a lot about the spread of disease. I also learned how we can help to stop it.”

GEAR UP is a partnership grant with Berea College.