The Flu! project is divided into three phases: context, data collection and analysis, reporting and reviewing, which are supported by three flexible lesson plans.
The lesson plans are highly detailed and include more activities than you are likely to use so you can pick and choose for your students. If a group of your students are running the project, they can use these student resources. Assessment has been made relevant to KS3 APP but the lesson ideas are suitable for all ages and some of the extension activities could even challenge a sixth form class.
Below is a summary of the phases:
1. Context – Lesson One: What’s the data all about?
- Students are introduced to the experiment in the context of it’s importance and relevance
- Students identify variables associated with the experiment and use key words to categorise them
- Students learn about the types of relationships between variables so they are prepared to make meaningful interpretations of the data
- You may wish to give your students a taste of the ethics behind research by putting together a short presentation to an ethics committee, which could include the Head, members of the senior leadership team etc.
- Teachers may wish to read about the ethics behind the research in Dr Rob’s blogpost The green light at the end of the tunnel
2. Fieldwork – Data collection and analysis: Lesson Two
- Students and teachers collect data by entering key information on school’s profile and filling in weekly absence due to illness data
- Students are introduced to simple time trend analysis to compare national flu data with the absence due to illness data from their own school and other schools.
- Students look for and attempt to explain patterns, natural variation and anomalies in the data
- Students use linear regression to investigate correlations between school absence due to illness data and variables between schools, such as the size of school, staff/student ratios, age of buildings.
- Students learn how to identify and rate the quality of a correlation
3. Reporting and reviewing – Lesson Three
- Students use LabLogs to keep track of their findings
- Students produce a brief collaborative report on findings
- Students peer review reports from other schools
- Students learn about the process of publishing a science paper