Monday, February 4, 2013

App of the Week - The Plague

Plague Inc. is a unique mix of high strategy and terrifyingly realistic simulation from developer Ndemic Creations. Can you infect the world?  

Your pathogen has just infected 'Patient Zero'. Now you must bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself. 

"Brilliantly executed with innovative gameplay and built from the ground up for mobile, Plague Inc. evolves the strategy genre and pushes mobile gaming (and you) to new levels. It’s You vs. the world -only the strongest can survive!" Google Play
iPad: 0.99
Android: Free  (unlock full version in app 0.99)
Chrome: not available

Classroom Use: 
The Plague Inc. will be used by Muller Road Middle students to create a multi-media project that demonstrates the connections between the history of infectious diseases, their impact on the human body, and the application of statistics to the spread/outbreak of infectious diseases.

Just as epidemics infected our world years ago, Plague, Inc. spreads diseases through animals and international travel. This allows the lesson on Epidemics to come to life for the students. They can choose and name a pathogen to infect the world. Students will research 10 different diseases before deciding which one they will use in both the project and the game. Students will use the app parallel to their unit on Epidemics.

Also in Plague, Inc., students have to select a country where the disease will originate. This is a strategic way to begin the game. Students will apply what they are learning in Social Studies about countries around the world. They will need to be familiar with the geography of the country, its demographics, and its climate to recognize how easily the epidemic will grow. 

In Science, students will study the human body. Looking at the major organs and tissues as well as how organs and tissue are infected by each disease. They will also learn about the DNA associated with each epidemic. Plague, Inc. allows the students to collect DNA points and spend them to avoid detection. It also allows the students to create the symptoms of their disease and the strength of it. Just as humans in real life, the people in Plague, Inc. do everything possible to fight the disease by either slowing it down or destroying it. Students will have to be strategic in using their DNA points as they decide how to react to the government’s counter-attack.

Plague, Inc. supplies all the necessary data the students need as they plan their attack on the world. The app shows various types of graphs to describe the number of people infected etc. It uses line graphs, circle graphs, and bar graphs. The students will be creating their own graphs in math class with the data they collect about their epidemic. Plague, Inc. has great examples of how scientists and mathematicians use displays of data to compare what is happening in the world. 

A design team at Muller Road Middle School will be implementing a new unit on Epidemics at the end of February. This team includes Lakeshia Mitchell, Marquis Ardoin, Michelle Mauney and Christy Stokes. 

The team looks forward to the implementation of this unit and how Plague, Inc. will aid the students as they discover the effect of epidemics on the world. Not only do they expect it to be a fun addition to the curriculum, but also expect it to grab the students’ interest and make an impact on their learning!

*Christy Stokes is our guest blogger! Thank you for the information on how students at Muller Road Middle will be using this app!