Why wait for a pandemic to respond?
Operation Outbreak (O2) is an innovative platform for STEM education on infectious diseases and outbreak preparedness created by Sarasota Military Academy Prep school and the Sabeti lab at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. This platform integrates an academic unit covering relevant science and humanities subjects with a culminating “outbreak simulation” experiential learning activity. This activity replicates a real-world outbreak scenario and guides hundreds of students on how to respond through a coordinated effort and use of technology, teaching them biology and public health in the process.
Read more about O2 in this opinion piece published on Wired.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE EDUCATION AND PREPAREDNESS
The O2 platform is enabled by a mobile app that simulates an airborne pathogen infecting phones through Bluetooth. The O2 app complements a carefully designed series of activities that take place during the course of the simulation and reflect the fact that outbreaks occur in the midst of everyday life. These activities involve students role-playing to keep their community running through social and economic interactions, government, research, etc. Hence, the simulation is a true learning experience that conveys the complexities of a real health emergency.