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Infection in the Classroom: Parasites as Models to Teach Biology

Seville, R. Scott
Couch, L.
Seed, R.
Chappell, C.
Caira, J.
Patton, S.
In 1998 the American Society of Parasitologists (ASP) established a five-year plan to educate various groups about parasites and parasitology (Education Committee Report to ASP Council, 1998). Targeted groups included K-12 students and teachers, college students and teachers, biologists in other disciplines, the general public, and politicians. A variety of initiatives were undertaken to reach K-12 targets. Plans were made to develop a series of parasitology “kits” or lessons for teachers in the classroom. March 4th, the birthday of the founder of ASP Henry Baldwin Ward, was designated “National Parasite Day.” On this day Parasitologists were to visit third grade classroom in their communities to discuss the field of parasitology, talk about their work, and show students parasite specimens. From these activities developed the idea of hosting a symposium and workshop of K-12 teachers at the annual ASP meeting in inform them about the opportunities and resources available for using parasitology in their classrooms.
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