Measles Outbreak: Classroom Visit

Danielle Basore
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On March 17th, I spent 7th period with a regents level Living Environment class. I had asked them to read an NPR article about the Disneyland measles outbreak the night before. I presented a few slides with background information about measles, focusing on viral replication and mechanism, since they were learning about those topics in their class at the time. After the background, we discussed the anti-vaccination movement. I showed them a political cartoon from 1930 depicting resistance to smallpox vaccination.

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Evolution Games – Part 1

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In this post, I detail the first round of “Evolution Games,” a series of games we’re playing at Hackett Middle School in Mrs. Stevenson’s 8th Grade Science classroom. (

A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it. Jacques Monod, in On the Molecular Theory of Evolution (1974)

I’m interested in the evolution of culture(s), so I study the field of “evolution” from a social angle, and sociality from an evolutionary angle. Read the rest of this entry »

First Vending Machine

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Writing this in the Suntreso Government Hospital right now, over an MTN HSPA connection. We’re waiting on a gas station owner to come by and take us to his business. We’ll be installing a machine without electronics today. Helena, the Data Manager of the hospital and our main interlocutor, has said that she really wants a machine with usage monitoring in the hospital. Edward and I will be working on assembling one of those this afternoon.

Our biggest challenges thus far have been adapting the machine to the Ghanaian context. Replacement parts are not readily available, and Helena is worried that the machines will empty very quickly. It is becoming immediately obvious that what we truly need is a locally-made machine. One that can be easily modified to accept the correct amount of money for market rates, and dispense condoms that do not require more packaging than absolutely necessary. We are also hoping that there is someone at KNUST that could work on the electronics component.