Book Talks is a feature of the AAAS review journal Science Books and Films (SB&F), which provides podcasts of interviews with the prize-winning authors ...
This interactive activity helps you look at the pros and cons of using antibiotics to treat illness. You get to play the role of a doctor who must treat seven patients and try to keep them from going to the hospital. At the your disposal are five different medicines, each of which can cause different side effects. The more powerful antibiotic has the most side effects associated with it.
The main screen of the interactive has three different sections. The one on the left shows one outline of a patient at a time. Inside the outline are the germs moving around in the body. The middle section contains the antibiotics that you can use to cure the patient. The section on the right shows the patient’s temperature and the effect of the antibiotics on the patient. You need to try to cure the patient without the patient’s temperature rising too high or getting too sick from the side effects caused by the antibiotics.
To do this interactive, students should first click on the “Learn More” and “Help” buttons found at the top of the screen. These two sections will provide more information about the use of antibiotics and how to perform the activity. When they are ready, students should click the “Start” button found in the left section of the screen. When the outline of the patient appears, students can attempt to cure the patient by clicking on a medicine and then moving the mouse over to where the germs appear on the body. To kill a germ, students should click on it.
This resource can be a useful addition to any lesson that looks at the human body as a system. It can be used as a way to show students how the whole body can be affected by something that is happening to one part of it. The activity also can be used to help show the limitations of modern medicine. It can drive home the point that we need to be careful with how we use medications to help fight disease.
Science Update Podcasts
6-12 | Audio
Women in Science: Forging New Pathways in Green Science
6-12 | Website
Peering Inside the Body
6-12 | Interactive