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“Mock Epidemic” project launched at Guilford Freshman Academy


Symptoms of a mock infectious disease started Monday with one Guilford High School teacher and will eventually spread to students and staff to cause a fictional epidemic. This project stems from Guilford’s newly launched College and Career Academies. As the mock disease and its symptoms spread through the school, students will be asked to identify symptoms, collect data and discover which illness it is and what triggered the epidemic.

The program targets students in Guilford’s Freshman Academy and covers several subject areas. "In the real world, learning doesn’t happen in isolation," said Guilford Career Academy Coach Chris Magee. "In the work world, a bell doesn’t ring when you have to start using English skills or math knowledge like it does in a traditional school setting."

In the coming weeks, one freshman team will connect all content classes into one project that focuses on the Health Science Academy: this mock epidemic. Students will be infected by an unknown virus, and students will act out various symptoms. Students participating in this project will track the symptoms and plot patters to find the cause of the infection and what type of disease those symptoms are tied to – and in the end, determine what disease/virus broke out and caused the "epidemic" at Guilford.

Media can attend student research sessions on Friday, Dec. 6, or Tuesday, December 10. Student research teams will present their findings in two weeks, and a formal, mock press conference on the students’ findings will begin at 9:25 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20 with the best presentation from each class. Community volunteers will also attend that mock press conference; The media is also invited to attend.

"Our goal in bringing academies to Guilford is to infuse this type of learning opportunity to every academy," Magee said.

Contact Academy Coach Chris Magee for more information, [email protected] or 815-654-4870.