The activity that documents Forrest Villarubia’s experience with a worm infection contracted from contaminated water was a great introductory activity to cover lab practical material dealing with two worm phyla:  Platyhelminthes and Nematoda.  Students commonly get flatworm and roundworm ailments confused.  Forrest's detailed case study proved to be a valuable teaching tool for this curriculum helping students differentiate among symptoms and worm characteristics through the experiences of a World War II veteran.  Students in a high school Zoology class were given the student handout on p. 112 of the Real World Science Teacher Guide detailing a veteran’s ailment while stationed in the Pacific theater including how he likely contracted the worm infection, a description of symptoms, a description of the worm isolated from Forrest’s body, and a description of the treatment of Forrest and the rest of his camp as a result of his infection.  Only the identification of the worm being a roundworm and from the genus Ascaris was blotted out with a marker for student use.  Students needed to use the rest of the clues from Forrest’s story to eliminate possible common flatworm and roundworm infections.  One by one they eliminated worms using Forrest’s description as they picked through preserved specimens located on the lab table.  Students used their textbook using the modes of infection of common flatworm and roundworm infections and symptoms to further narrow down the possible infections.  Once students used these resources, they were able to arrive at the correct diagnosis:  Ascaris worms.  This lab activity allows students to form a conclusion from several possible culprits by piecing together many sources of information.  Additionally, students learn the key differences between phyla Platyhelminthes and Nematoda.  Having students relate to the story of a United States veteran from World War II helps relate tropical parasites to students and the challenges associated with containing and preventing such infectious parasites.

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