Microorganism: A foe
Class 8, 9 & 10
Key Learning Objectives
1 Hour (Approximately)
- THE MISSION
The Student is a public health expert and in level 1 of the game, they are tasked with the responsibility of finding the different types of plant, animal and human disease causing organisms from the samples sent to the laboratory. You have 50 samples from which you have to segregate the different types based on the causative organism and on whether it affects plants, animals or humans. The player has to clearly and strategically segregate the different types of organisms within the interval of time provided or else the microorganisms might get released into the air without clear and proper intervention. On successful completion of level 1, in level 2, the player is tasked with advising 20 members of the public health preservation wing on top 8 dangerous & different micro-organism identified in level 1 with cause, preventive measures, modes and health guidelines. The challenge is to find the 20 members in the extremely big medical health facility and provide this information before the time runs out. If that happens, the spread will be uncontrollable and the game will get over.
Before delving deeper into the understanding harmful microorganism’s modes of transmission and preventive measures to control transmission of microorganisms, let’s first understand what microorganisms are and their types.
- About Microorganisms
There are various living organisms that exist on earth, but there are some organisms which cannot be seen with the naked eye while there are others which can be seen. The living organisms that you fail to see with your eyes and which can be seen only with the microscope are called microorganisms. These microorganisms are very small and widely found. The study of microorganisms is known as microbiology. Microorganisms are too small, so, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. To see the microorganisms like bacteria and protozoa, we use a microscope. Fungus that grows on the bread can be seen with a magnifying glass. Microorganisms have flexible adaptability, that means they can survive in almost all areas or environments. They can survive under all types of environmental conditions ranging from ice cold to hot springs and deserts to marshy lands. These microorganisms are also found inside the human bodies. Some microorganisms grow on other organisms, some of them exist freely, some of them live alone, and some microorganisms live in colonies, which means that microorganisms live with similar communities. They are also found inside the bodies of animals including humans, air, water, soil, food and other things.
Types of Microorganisms
- Types of Microorganisms
There are of five types of microorganisms, as follows:
Let us discuss them in detail.
- Bacteria: They are unicellular microorganisms. They are mostly single- celled tiny organisms, but they live together in colonies of millions. Bacteria are to be seen under a microscope which enlarges their size from a hundred to thousand times. They do not have well defined nuclei. It contains ribosomes and plasmids. This plasmid is helpful in reproduction. The size of bacteria ranges from 0.2 micron to 100 microns. Smallest bacteria have a size of 0.15 micron and largest bacteria is 1.5 micron in size. Some bacteria are aerobic, which means they respire in the presence of oxygen and some of them are anaerobic, which means that they do not respire in the presence of oxygen. They are divided into four types depending upon shapes:
- Cocci: This means that bacteria are circular or spherical in shape.
- Bacillus: This means that bacteria is rod shaped.
- Spirillum: This means that bacteria is in spiral shape.
- Vibrio: This means that bacteria is in a comma like shape.
- Viruses: Virus cannot be seen with a simple microscope. Though, it is a microorganism, and we know that microorganisms can be seen with a simple microscope, but viruses can be seen only under a complex microscope. To see them, a powerful microscope is needed. Viruses are the smallest of all microorganisms and they consist of nucleic acid covered with protein shells. Some viruses are living and some are non-living. They are considered living when present inside living cells, but it is also considered as non-living when present outside living organisms. They can cause many diseases. Like, AIDS is a fatal disease and caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). They are heterotrophic in nature, which means they depend on other animals for their nutritional requirement. They are usually parasites, which means that they live either inside or on the body of another organism and eat their food. They may be unicellular, which means that they have a single cell. Examples of Viruses are: Poliovirus and Tobacco mosaic virus (Tobacco mosaic is a disease in plant).
- Protozoa: They are unicellular in nature, which means that their body is made up of single cell. They are mostly found in aquatic bodies and are solitary or colonial, which means that they can either exist alone or live in colonies. They can be free living or parasitic, which means that they can live alone or are also present inside the body of other organisms and their body shape may be irregular, oval, spherical, etc. For example: Amoeba, Paramecium.
- Algae: Algae is a simple, non-flowering, and typically aquatic plant of a large assemblage that includes seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Algae is green in colour and also contains chlorophyll but lacks true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue. Examples of Algae: Chlamydomonas, Spirogyra.
- Harmful microorganisms and pathogens
As Microorganisms are harmful in many ways. Some of the microorganisms cause diseases in human beings, plants and animals. Such disease-causing microorganisms are called pathogens.
- Communicable diseases and carriers
Microbial diseases that can spread from an infected person to a healthy person through air, water, food or physical contact are called communicable diseases. Examples of such diseases include cholera, common cold, chicken pox and tuberculosis. When a person suffering from common cold sneezes, fine droplets of moisture carrying thousands of viruses are spread in the air. The virus may enter the body of a healthy person while breathing. There are some insects and animals which act as carriers of disease- causing microbes. Housefly is one such carrier. The flies sit on the garbage and animal excreta. Pathogens stick to their bodies. When these flies sit on uncovered food they may transfer the pathogens. Whoever eats the contaminated food is likely to get sick. So, it is advisable to always keep food covered. Avoid consuming uncovered items of food. Another example of a carrier is the female Anopheles mosquito which carries the parasite of malaria. Female Aedes mosquito acts as carrier of dengue virus.
- Human diseases caused by microorganisms
- Diseases caused in animals by microorganisms
Several microorganisms not only cause diseases in humans and plants, but also in other animals. For example, anthrax is a dangerous human and cattle disease caused by a bacterium. Foot and mouth disease of cattle is caused by a virus.
- Diseases caused in plants by microorganisms
- Problem statement
You are a public health expert and in level 1 of game, are tasked with the responsibility of finding the different types of plant, animal and human disease causing microorganisms from samples sent to the laboratory and you have 50 samples from which you have to segregate the different types based on the causative organism and on whether it affects plants, animals or humans. The player has to clearly and strategically segregate at least 50 different types of microorganisms depending on the type causative organism (whether it is a virus, bacteria, fungus, protozoa) into different types of petri dishes (A Petri dish also known as a cell-culture dish is a shallow transparent lidded dish that biologists use to hold growth medium in which cells can be cultured originally, cells of bacteria, fungi and small mosses) within the interval of 6 minutes game time provided or else all the microorganisms in the laboratory will be released into the air due to failure in segregation on time causing immediate infection in the entire city.
On successful completion of level 1, in level 2, the player is tasked with advising 20 members of the public health preservation wing about top 8 dangerous & different micro-organism selected from the pool of 50 identified in level 1 with cause, preventive measures, modes and health guidelines. Please note that the selection of top 8 to be done carefully as it might lead to game over on wrong selection. The challenge is to find the 20 members in the extremely big medical health facility (finding them through the shortest route possible) and provide this information before the time runs out. If the time runs out, the spread will be uncontrollable and the game will get over.
- Game design overview
In the Game, the player is a public health expert. Imagine, you are a public health expert who is given a very important responsibility of segregating 50 different types of microorganisms based on the type of causative i.e whether it is a virus, bacteria, fungus or protozoa into 4 culture dishes for careful preservation in level 1. An evil employee who wants to take revenge on the company is planning to release all the organisms into the air which will lead to large scale spread of the disease before segregation leading to death and destruction of people in that locality. Hence it is the duty of the player to carefully segregate the 50 samples of microorganisms into different petri dishes based on the type of microorganism and storing them carefully in cool containers within 6 minutes’ game time as after the specified time the evil manager will enter the facility and diffuse the virus into air. Each successful segregation will give you 10 points and any wrong segregation will give -10 points. Remember that you can make only 7 wrong segregations post which the game will get over. On successful completion of level 1, you will advance to level 2.
In level 2, the player task is to provide necessary information to 20 other members of your team on top 8 dangerous & different types of harmful microorganisms, their cause, affect, preventive measures, modes and health guidelines. The challenge is that the medical facility is very big and the 20 members are spread in the facility. You have to strategically find the shortest route to reach them and complete the task. You have exactly 5 minutes to find them and provide the necessary information. If you fail to do it, the spread will be uncontrollable and the game gets over immediately. Successful passing of information to each member will add 50 points to your score. Earn as many points as possible before the game ends.
- How to design the game?
- Step I
As the game begins, it starts with a short story to give a quick brief about the task and it continues with 50 samples of microorganisms arriving in a freezer. You have 4 petri dishes kept on the table marking bacteria, virus, fungus and protozoa and the game time begins. You have to carefully think and segregate them as fast as possible and complete this task in 6 minutes only. Each segregation will earn you 10 points and wrong segregation will cost you -10 points. Remember, you can do make only 7 wrong segregation post which the game will be immediately over and points achieved will be your high score. This is level 1 of the game. You have to successfully complete this task to progress to level 2.
Hint: There will be a time counter and correct efficiency counter that will constantly calculate your time remaining and correctness of the segregation of the microorganisms. Remember that you will have to segregate only one type of microorganism together and not multiple organisms at a single time. For every wrong segregation of microorganisms, you will lose 10 points. Be sure for your correctness of segregation as you have only 7 wrong segregation chances. On completion of the task, you gain 100 points, the microorganisms are carefully segregated and preserved in the lab and you progress to the next round.
- Step II
Once you progress to level 2, first, you have to select the top 8 dangerous and unique microorganisms that can cause the most harm to all. Second, there are a 20 members of the public health wing who takes care of the important responsibility of doing awareness on the preventive measures to equip everyone against disease causing microorganisms. But they are not well informed to handle this. You have to clearly provide all the information to them on 8 different types of disease causing microorganisms that you selected. The challenge is you are not aware of their whereabouts in the facility, hence, you have to navigate yourself using a map, find them and equip them with information before 5 minutes run out. Each successful information passing will provide you 50 points. If you fail to inform all within the time, the game gets over.
Hint: A record sheet will be shown in level 2 beginning with your segregation. You have to select the top 8 dangerous and unique microorganism and start your journey of finding the 20 members. You will have a map that will show the whereabouts of the members but you have to navigate yourself by finding shortest route to reach them within the time limits. There will be time counter which will be constantly ticking. On touching the member, it information counter will reduce the count telling that the information is successfully passed. Make the challenge touch by randomly spreading the member in the facility and design the facility in a way that it is difficult to navigate.
- Step III
In level 1, each correct segregation will give 10 points and wrong segregation will cost you 10 points. Remember to finish all segregation in time. The total score once completed in level 1 will be taken forward to level 2 and level 2 points will keep getting added in it. Complete all the task to achieve highest competitive score.
Hint: If the segregation gets over before the time ends, the game goes to level 2. If you fail to segregate by making 7 mistakes, the game will get over. Hence, it is very important to carefully segregate keeping in mind about the time to go to level 2 and finish the task in level 2. The total combined score of level 1 and level 2 will be the highest score.
Learning Objective Based Evaluation (0-1)
Higher Order Thinking Skills
Learning Objective Based Evaluation Total Score
Higher Order Thinking Skills Total Score
Learning Objective Based Evaluation
1 point Questions:
Q1. Which of the following microorganisms cannot be seen through a simple microscope?
Q2. 2. Which carrier is responsible for the transmission of the parasite of malaria?
- Female Anopheles Mosquito
- House Fly
Q3. Which of the following statements are false regarding bacteria?
- They do not have well defined nuclei
- All the bacteria are anaerobic
- Some of the bacteria are pathogenic in nature
- None of the above
Q4. Which of the following is algae?
- Mycobacterium bovis
- Plasmodium Falciparum
- Varicella zoster
Evaluation of HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills)
Identification of the Problem Statement:
Q5. What is the goal of the game that you have designed? (1 point)
Q6. Does the game designed solve the problem? Justify your answer. (1 point)
Solution of the Problem Statement:
Q7. What are the most common types of diseases and the causative microorganisms you have come across? (1 point)
Q8. What are the ways that you and your family have constructed preventive measures against harmful micro-organisms? (1 point)
Innovation in the Problem Statement:
Q9. What are the innovative aspects of the solution for which the game is designed? (2 points)
Creativity in the Game Design:
Q10. Describe and explain the unique design elements used in the game. (2 points)
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