Why We Chose This Topic
During the course of Andrew and William’s last Thinkquest project on Avian Flu, Andrew became intrigued with how we would contain the nasty avian flu epidemic. Who were the people who worked behind the scenes to control the epidemic? How would they go about containing the disease?
Asking these questions led Andrew to explore a whole new world of information- the science of epidemiology, the study of disease in populations. He quickly became interested in the topic. Ngoc, our assistant coach, (who would like to be an epidemiologist herself) suggested that we do a website on this topic.
We realized was how ill informed the population was about epidemiology, when we conducted a survey. In our survey, 97% of the people asked did not know what epidemiology is. We felt the extreme need to educate them about epidemiology, especially in this time period, where epidemiology is needed. Many new and old diseases threaten our existence, and only the power of epidemiology can contain them.
The goal of our website is to educate others, especially a younger audience, about epidemiology. Because we believe that the best way of learning is by doing, our website presents its information very differently from other websites.
Our website has two main features – the written content, and the case studies. Our website has been designed so that the written content presents a brief introduction to the main principles of epidemiology. The main purpose of this content is to give the reader just enough background information to start the case studies.
The case studies are our main way of conveying the information in this site. We have designed the case studies in a RPG (“role-playing game”) format. In these games, the reader plays the role of an epidemiologist, solving cases similar to those that a real epidemiologist would face. As our readers play the game, the principles that are found in the written content come to life when the readers must use the epidemiological principles in real-life situations, reinforcing the information from the text.
What We Have Learned
During the course of the creation of our website, we learned about how important epidemiologists are. Most of us do not realize how much they do everyday to stop outbreaks of new disease from becoming dangerous world pandemics. We also realized that the full extent of epidemiology goes beyond studying and controlling diseases; analytical study designs can also be used to study things like traffic accidents and obesity. Besides using it to save the world, can also be used in the common household. We showed this in our third case study, where we the reader saves their auntie.
By making this website, we realized that the world needs epidemiologists. However, if our young generation does not know a thing about it, how will there be more epidemiologists? We realized the need to inform the young generation about this topic is tremendous, not just a small, trivial thing. We sincerely hope our website will be able to teach others about the importance of epidemiology.
Who We Are
We are a group of six, unique individuals, and two coaches, scattered across the globe, in three different countries, and 4 different states in the United States. Through this project, we have uncovered much about epidemiology, and hope to share our knowledge with the world.