Pathogens and Vectors Unit

Size and Scale

Students make size and scale comparisons between living and non-living components on Earth.


A Planet of Viruses: Carl Zimmer

Bestselling science writer Carl Zimmer introduces viral diseases in his book A Planet of Viruses.


Visualizing Viruses Investigation

Viruses are too small to be seen with the naked eye or even with classroom microscopes. The only way to “see” a virus to look for evidence of where one has been.


Mosquito Life Cycle Labs

Students study stages of the mosquito life cycle in the classroom laboratory and through resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Activities include direct observation of mosquito larvae (Aedes sp.) hatching from eggs, and the study of larval mouthparts and the breathing of air with siphons. Experiments include measurement and comparison of larval and pupal diving times.


Mosquito Inquiry Lab

Students investigate the influence of climate—particularly temperature—on the mosquito life cycle. Students design experiments to investigate environmental effects on the development of mosquito eggs and larvae. They also consider broader questions of how climate change influences patterns of vector-borne disease.


Temperature and Rate of Reaction

Metabolism in living organisms increases with higher temperatures. Vector and pathogen life cycles are affected by increases in environmental temperature.