If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that a massive outbreak of harmful E.coli bacteria has had ripple effects in Europe over the past week. We’ve already heard from kids who are concerned and have questions – how this can happen, and whether Americans are at risk. For those educators and parents who want to bring their students and children up to speed on the science behind superbugs like this E.coli strain, we recommend showing our movie on Antibiotic Resistance. In it, Tim and Moby describe what can happen when environmental pressures lead to genetic mutations that thrive despite scientists’ best efforts to control them. You may also wish to show our Genetic Mutations and Bacteria movies for primers on the cell biology behind outbreaks like these. Finally, we encourage you to watch and share our Food Safety topic, which explores precautions to take to help prevent getting ill from food contamination.
Has this topic come up in your class? How are you explaining it to students? What resources do you find most helpful to ease students’ fears and answer their questions?