Don´t Drink Water [WEBQUEST]

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Don´t Drink Water [WEBQUEST]

Mensaje  Admin el Sáb Nov 13, 2010 3:26 pm



DON'T DRINK THE WATER!!!



Introduction
DON'T DRINK THE WATER!!!

Hundreds of people in your community have already become ill from unknowingly consuming microbe-infested H2O! Now you are among those responsible for curing their sickness and preventing this disease from becoming an epidemic. It's a challenge, but it's one that you must accept--and one that your friends and neighbors know you will achieve for the sake of your town's health and well-being. First, you and your co-investigators must identify and classify the microorganism that has contaminated the town's drinking water supply. Then, you will need to propose and test an environment-friendly biological remedy for this problematic situation. Your community anxiously awaits your successful solution!


TASK


HERE YOU COME TO SAVE THE DAY! What is this dreadful bug that has infiltrated your drinking water? You need to find out, so that you can come up with an efficient and effective antidote. The treatment you suggest must be supported by scientific research data--otherwise, the local government will turn up its nose (in spite of the fact that its members are writhing on the floor in gastrointestinal pain)! Using your proposal as your hypothesis, your research team will design a controlled experiment whose results should underscore the usefulness of your plan. Upon publication and acceptance of your findings, you will become hometown heroes--and celebrated as such by your local television personalities!




Process


STEP ONE:
Identify the microorganism that is responsible for your community's distress.
Choose one of the case studies, and read about the symptoms from which the victims are suffering.

Use the resources below to match the illness to its likely cause.
STEP TWO:
Propose an environment-friendly method to eradicate the guilty microbe. (In other words, state your hypothesis.)
Search the available resources to discover the natural enemies of this microorganism.
Determine the accessibility of biodegradable organic chemicals to which the microbe may be susceptible.
STEP THREE:
Test your plan for effectiveness. (Design and conduct an experiment that will support your hypothesis.)
Mentally organize the necessary components of your experiment--variables, controls, materials, living specimens, etc.
Secure your teacher's permission to set up and carry out your experiment in a designated safe area of the classroom laboratory.
Perform your experiment, make thorough observations, record all results, and analyze your data.
If your results support your hypothesis, you're ready to move on to Step Four; if not, try again--the double helix wasn't built in a day!

STEP FOUR:
"Sell" your solution to your community and its leaders. (Write a scientific laboratory report and present an oral summary to the class.)
Write a formal scientific laboratory report--including an introduction, a description of the materials and methods you used (so that skeptics can replicate your experiment), your results (with graphs and tables, as appropriate), and a conclusion. It should be word-processed and adhere to the scientific writing format(s) that your class has established previously.
Prepare a short (approximately five-minute) oral presentation in which you will summarize your investigative process and recommend your plan of action. Visual aids are suggested--PowerPoint presentations are certainly welcome!



Resources

      
Fact Sheets on Emerging Waterborne Pathogens

Water and Germs: Waterborne Diseases and Their Pathogens
Bacteria Database
The Microbe Zoo
Bacterial Diseases Directory
Virtual Museum of Bacteria
MicrobeWorld
Microbiology: Bacteria and Viruses



Evaluation

                                                  
As if the health of your friends and neighbors weren't enough, your teacher also will grade you on the following criteria:
Did you identify the correct pathogen?
Did you complete a scientifically sound experimental investigation, as indicated through a clear and succinct lab report that meets the requirements as shown?
Did you make a reasonable case to convince your local lawmakers that your solution is the best for your community?  


Conclusion


Now you have seen that viruses, bacteria, protists, and fungi may be beneficial or detrimental--those that are waterborne pathogens certainly can lead to some serious situations for public health.  The appropriate reaction to such dire circumstances should not always be to "go get the strongest chemicals you can find!"  As young scientists like yourself continue to learn more about aquatic habitats, the critters who live there, and the ways in which they interact with one another, people will be better equipped to handle biological emergencies in more natural ways that do minimal harm to the world's precious ecosystems.  There probably will always be new innovative methods to try--perhaps you really will be the next medical legend!!!


Adapted from Scott A. Fields
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