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Prescott students participate in "Mystery Disease" project

Mystery Disease participants included (back, from left) Zachariah Ogren, Lucas Gale, Andaria Henderson, Jacob Barker, Calen Jackson, Emelia Berg, Nora Boles; (front) Cara Fiedler, Makaria Haas, Isaac Akey, Donavin Ward, Kaylee Enochson, Brooklyn Threinen, Addyson Allsop and Emma Ellsworth. Not pictured: Dominic Friese and Liam Haeg. Photo courtesy of Carrie Fisher1 / 3
The first place Mystery Disease team impressed the judges with their overall knowledge of the disease and hands-on demonstrations: Calen Jackson, Jacob Barker, Emelia Berg and Nora Boles. Photo courtesy of Carrie Fisher2 / 3
Second place went to this Mystery Disease team for their clear and informative display of their research. The team included Makaria Haas, Donavin Ward, Cara Fiedler and Isaac Akey. Photo courtesy of Carrie Fisher3 / 3

Congratulations to the 17 fifth graders from Malone Intermediate School for participating in

Mystery Disease!

Mystery Disease is a Project-Based Learning unit that encourages higher order thinking and problem solving as a team. This unit has really stretched these kids to research, collaborate, think quickly, manage their time and act under pressure.

They began with a story of a fictional town and a fictional situation following a county fair. People were getting very ill, businesses were worried, the fair organizers were feeling pressure, and schools wondered if they should be open. After determining the disease, students took on the roles as county health workers. Throughout the unit, students received memos and disease reports as people got sick. One fictional student even died as these kids scrambled to make sense of the clues they were given. The pressure mounted as the scenario depicted a town in danger of a very serious epidemic.

The fifth graders were tasked with identifying the disease, communicating with the public, teaching young students how to stay healthy, and presenting their findings to a panel of judges.

Special thanks to our panel of judges including retired school nurse Marie Magnan, school nurse Cassie Butler, physician Dr. Sarah Markert and nurse Jessica Gale.