Antibiotic Resistance: Evolution in the Now

A Webquest for 10th Grade Biology
Designed by: Jennifer L. Geist
geistjennifer@gmail.com

The Mechanisms Behind Evolution
The Mechanisms Behind Evolution
















Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers


Introduction:

Using a number of multimedia elements, you will see how disease-causing agents (i.e. bacteria, fungi, and viruses) evolve rapidly and the impact this has on human health. You will investigate antibiotic resistance in diseases such as MRSA, tuberculosis, and influenza. In your groups, you will play the role of public health officials, who must conduct interviews and interpret results to determine the extent of the problem and explain the problem of antibiotic resistance to the public through an electronic presentation or visual model.
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Task:

Together with your group, you will investigate how a number of disease-causing agents rapidly evolve causing antibiotic resistance. As a group, you will survey five family members and/or friends of different ages to determine the extent of the antibiotic resistance problem. You will create a spreadsheet to organize the information you collect from this survey to be shared with the class. Using the information you gather throughout this webquest, your group will create an electronic presentation or visual model that can visually explain the extent of the problem (the findings from your survey), the problem of antibiotic resistance, and what can be done to prevent antibiotic resistance.
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Process:

(1) Form Groups

You will first need to split up into groups of 3-4 students. You will work with this group for the duration of your project.

(2) Brainstorm

Together with your group, you will brainstorm ideas for your presentation to inform the public (the 9th grade health class) about the problem of antibiotic resistance.

(3) Research

You will need to collect the information you will want to include in your presentation to the health class. You will find a number of helpful websites, interactive presentations, videos, slideshows, etc. listed under resources. Please follow these links in the order they are listed initially. You may return to any of the sites at any given time.

(4) Build Project

As a group, you will create an electronic presentation or visual model that can explain the extent of the problem (the findings from your survey), the problem of antibiotic resistance, and what can be done to prevent antibiotic resistance. Example presentation formats include: * an interactive presentation
  • a website
  • a slideshow (i.e. PowerPoint, Google Docs, SlideRocket, Brink Pad, Empressr, Spresent)
  • a short video
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Resources:

Evolution in Action

  • * Microbe Clock: an interactive presentation on real-time evolutionary change. Mutations and fast reproductive rates in microorganisms can allow deadly microorganisms to outpace medical research.

Antibiotics/ResistanceAntibiotics/Resistance

  • (1) What are antibiotics?
  • * KidsHealth : This article provided by KidsHealth explains how antibiotics work, why it's harmful to overuse them, and how to take them safely.
  • (2) What is antibiotic resistance?
  • * Understanding Antibiotic Resistance Fact Sheet : provides quick facts, definitions, causes, diagnosis, treatment, examples, etc. Please be sure to view the illustration explaining antibiotic resistance.
  • * "The Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance": a silent video illustrating the progression of antibiotic resistance. Please be sure to read the background information provided below the links to view the video.
  • (3) How does antibiotic resistance happen?
  • * How Antibiotic Resistance Happens: a written explanation as well as images describing how antibiotic resistance happens.
  • * Antibiotic Resistance Cartoon: a cartoon depicting how antibiotic resistance happens.

Results of Antibiotic Resistance

Our Role in Antibiotic Resistance

  • (1) Determining the causes and the extent of the problem.
  • * Interview Questions- As a group, you will survey five family members and/or friends of different ages to determine the extent of the antibiotic resistance problem. You will create a spreadsheet (using either MS Excel or OpenOffice) to organize the information you collect from this survey to be shared with the class.

  • (2) Reducing the Risk.
  • * "What Can We Do to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance?" : a rountable discussion which includes written statements from four expert panelists.
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Evaluation:

Your teacher will use the rubric that is linked below to grade your visual presentation.
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Conclusion:

At the completion of this project, you should be able to: * Explain the mechanisms behind the theory of evolution.
  • Explain the role of mutations and gene recombination in changing a population of organisms.
  • Explain why natural selection can act only on inherited traits.
  • Understand how disease-causing agents (i.e. bacteria, fungi, and viruses) evolve rapidly.
  • Explain antibiotic resistance in diseases such as MRSA, tuberculosis, and influenza and understand how this evolutionary change impacts human health.
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Teachers:

This lesson is designed for 10th grade Biological Sciences students to study an example of real-time evolutionary change. Below you will find an outline describing the design of this project. It is recommended that you read this site in full before deciding to carry this project out with your students. As always, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Learning Goals/Outcomes:

(1) The following Pennsylvania State Academic Standards will be addressed by this project:
Biological Sciences
  • 3.3.10.D- Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution.
  • * Explain the role of mutations and gene recombination in changing a population of organisms.
  • * Explain why natural selection can act only on inherited traits.
  • * Apply the concept of natural selection to illustrate and account for a species’ survival, extinction or change over time.

  • Science & Technology
  • 4.7.7.D- Apply computer software to solve specific problems.
  • (2) Students will see how disease-causing agents (i.e. bacteria, fungi, and viruses) evolve rapidly. (3) Students will investigate antibiotic resistance in diseases such as MRSA, tuberculosis, and influenza and understand how this evolutionary change impacts human health.
  • Learner Experience:

  • A. Project
  • Students will view the “The Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance” and the “Why Does Evolution Matter Now?” videos available at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/teachstuds/svideos.html. In addition, students will view articles, images, slideshows, and interactive presentations to learn the science behind evolution and the cause and effect of evolution on antibiotic resistance (see linked websites listed under resources ). Afterwards, students will conduct a simple interview among their peers and family members. From these interviews, students will create Excel spreadsheets to express the information they obtain.


  • B. Necessary Pre-Requisite Skills:
  • Students will need to understand the theory of evolution and evolutionary change. Students will need to have a basic understanding of the problems associated with overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. Students should be familiar with basic computer skills and the skills necessary for creating a visual presentation and an Excel spreadsheet.


  • C. Grouping Alternatives:
  • This lesson is designed to support cooperative learning in groups of 3-4 students. There are two recommended grouping alternatives for this lesson:
    • (i) Allow the students to form their own groups of 3-4 students.
    • (ii) The teacher assigns students to heterogeneous groups of 3-4 students based on ability (i.e. strengths and weaknesses).
  • The groups must then work together to complete the project.


  • D. Assessment Technique:
  • Please review the attached rubric for the assessment of the visual presentation. The results of the interview will be discussed within the visual presentation.


  • E. Dynamic Elements:
  • A number of multimedia elements will be used to educate the students throughout this project. These include videos, interactive presentations, diagrams and multiple easy-to-understand articles to aid the student in learning about evolution and antibiotic resistance (see flow chart for more information and links). Students will use create a multimedia educational tool of their choosing to inform the public about the problems associated with the overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.


  • F. Content
  • The content of the project will begin with evolution in action, which includes a brief review of evolutionary theory and the associated concepts to be conducted by the classroom teacher. Students will then observe an interactive presentation on real-time evolutionary change titled “Microbe Clock.” The teacher and students will then focus on antibiotics and resistance, including definitions as well as how antibiotic resistance occurs. Students will view a video titled “The Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance,” images of antibiotic resistance, as well as a cartoon, all of which depict the process of antibiotic resistance. The class will then review the results of antibiotic resistance, including the associated problems and health risks. To do so, the class will watch “Why Does Evolution Matter Now?” as well as the slideshow on MRSA.
  • All of this information will be essential to the student projects focusing on our role in antibiotic resistance and public awareness of the problem. Students will conduct interviews to determine the extent of the problem. Students will then create a visual multimedia educational tool to inform the public about the problems associated with the overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
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Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers