Some diseases are caused indirectly by an exotoxin (a poison) released by a bacteria, fungi, algae, or protozoan. Exotoxins damage the host by destroying cells or interfering with cell metabolism. They can cause major damage to the host organism.
Image: The bacteria Clostridium botulinum produces the botulism toxin.
What is PBL?
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a type of lesson that develops problem-solving strategies and content knowledge using open-ended, real-world tasks.
Students are engaged in critical thinking as they work through a scenario that addresses real-life topics and issues. The scenario problem may or may not have one “right” answer.
Evidence suggests that PBL enhances both transfer of concepts to new problems and integration of science concepts into real-world issues. It also fosters more student interest in the PBL topics.
Some of the PBL modules deal with clinical trials. At first, clinical trials may not seem to be related to topics generally covered in typical high school science classes. There is no national or state standard that deals with clinical trials, right? But, standards do target the scientific method, application of science concepts, science in society, science in inquiry, and the nature of science. And all of these are incorporated into clinical trials studies.
As you find out more about the clinical trials process, you will see how important scientific methodology—the same methods used in all scientific investigations—are in clinical research. Every science subject begins the year with a review on some level of the Scientific Method. The CyberSurgeons clinical trials modules allow the students to see the scientific method in action—in real-life scenarios.
Look at the choices for problem-based learning modules in the upper menu display. Click on the titles to read an overview of the module, the scenario, some guiding questions, and the scenario task. Your teacher may have other instructions for your team. While the basic criteria may be defined, problem-based learning allows you to take the tasks in a variety of directions—you can take it as far as you want to go!
Each PBL module comes with support information to help you get started and a list of internet resources to point you in the right direction. Just find the resources in the left-side menus for each module and get started!