Education Technology

The Spread of Disease

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students simulate the spread of a disease in a population. They use the Probability Simulation application to learn that certain sums occur more often than others because of combinations of addends of those sums.

Before the Activity

Install the Probability Simulation Application on the calculator using one of these two methods:

  • TI Connect™, a TI Connectivity Cable, and the Unit-to-Unit Link Cable
  • TI-Navigator™ "send to class" feature
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 61 - 66 from the attached PDF file for your class

During the Activity

Distribute pages to your class.

Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Assign random numbers to students
  • Allow students to move around in a classroom
  • Note the ID of the student they come in contact with
  • Start the Probability Simulation Application
  • Students use the application to simulate the rolling of 2 dice and record the sum
  • Randomly select an ID that represents the first person to be infected
  • Randomly select a sum that represents a contagious outcome
  • Contagiousness is determined by using the simulation to roll 2 dice and recording the sum
  • Students note down encounters with the infected person and also if the person is contagious
  • Identify newly infected students
  • Graph the stage number versus the number of people infected at that stage and observe trends
  • Observe that in the list of all possible sums of two dice, certain sums are more likely to occur
  • Understand how more students get infected as the stage number increases
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Student Worksheet and answer questions.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary