The trip to the City of Houston water treatment facility was truly an incredible experience! There were so many things to learn from at the learning center, and I found myself jotting down what felt like hundreds of interesting facts to share with my students later. Our guides were very knowledgeable and they shared with us multiple interesting activities that we could bring back to our classrooms.
One set of items in particular that caught my eye in the learning center was a collection of WANTED posters detailing water-borne pathogens that have wreaked havoc around the world (pictures below). I absolutely loved the creativity of these posters. They were simultaneously engaging, informative, and even made me laugh at some of their creative phrasing. At first, I thought about how much I would love to have these exact posters in my classroom, but after thinking a bit more I came upon an even better idea.
The past two years, I have used project-based learning for our virus and bacteria unit. Previously, I’ve had my students create booklets that could be used to inform patients on the differences between viral & bacterial diseases and their treatments. How fun would it be to somehow incorporate a WANTED poster component? They could be modeled directly after the posters that we saw in the center, providing the same type of information about how they make you sick and their method of transmission and reproduction. As I was thinking about this and looking at the posters, I realized they were a bit out of date. It looks like the last time they were updated was 10 years ago, so many of the “last known location” dates and places are now incorrect. That gave me another idea. How amazing would it be if we could actually team up with the learning center and have students design posters/exhibit components that could actually be implemented in the learning center? I have now made a new commitment to myself to see if there is a way that we could make this happen so that my students can engage in a project that will challenge them to build a final product that will ultimately have an influence that reaches beyond the confines of our classroom.