A Model of How Antibiotics Work
Almost all children have taken antibiotics as a result of ear infections, strep throat, or other bacterial infections. Some of them feel better soon and don’t understand why they have to keep taking the medication for the full ten days as prescribed. Others forget to take the medicine, and then often have to be put on a stronger type of antibiotics. This game enables students to experience a model of the effects of antibiotics on a population of disease-causing bacteria during an infection. Students learn how variables such as skipping a day of medication affect the persistence of the disease. A key concept is that almost every naturally occurring population of bacteria that cause disease has a component that is resistant to antibiotics. By graphing data, students can visually understand why it is important to take a complete course of antibiotics to kill all the bacteria and decease the likelihood of bacteria becoming resistant, which can be harmful to human health and is a major public health problem.