Other Scenarios

Obesity and Nutrition: Vending Machines, or No Vending Machines

In this scenario, students are invited to have their voices be heard. This time, they play themselves! They are given a flyer that reads as follows, “In order to address the current epidemic of obesity and overweight students in schools, it is ordered that there be: No more Chips! No more Candy bars! No more Sugared sodas! Do YOU think this is right? Come to a hearing…”

Students interview the school principle, a parent, a teacher, a local department of public health official, and a soda & vending machines industry representative.

In the end, they are asked to vote for one of the following measures and to defend their positions:

1. Do nothing. Keep all food in the vending machines.

2. Have the vending machines stocked with both health and junk foods.

3. Stock the vending machines only with healthy foods.

4. Ban everything. Don’t have vending machines in the school.


West Nile Virus: “To Spray, or Not to Spray?”

This scenrio was based on real-time data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monitoring incidence of WNV in the United States.

It was also a very relevent issue for students in Boston, since there had been debate about whether or not to spray pesticides to control the spread of the virus. It may not be easily replicated for the reason of timing.

We had four characters is in this scenario playing the following roles (covering the following topics):

1. mosquito expert
- mosquito transmission of virus,
- life cycle of mosquito, breeding/environment
- mosquito-bird-mammal connection (horses, humans, etc.)

2. infectious disease doctor/medical professional
- what is WNV disease in humans? pattern, symptoms, outcomes (from no observable effects to death)
- demographics: who is at risk?
- maps and recent history of human cases

3. community activist / anti spraying info person
- worried about kids' exposure to pesticides
- worried about other animals that may be affected by pesticides
- presents science showing pyrethroids may be hazardous to animal and human health
- presents alternatives to spraying (e.g., IPM, puddle patrols, personal protective measures)

4. community activist / pro-spraying person
- concerns of seniors
- very fearful of disease (they knew someone who went crazy and died)
- convinced everyone will get encephalitis and die
- thinks this is the new malaria for the US and no one is taking it seriously.
- presents science showing pyrethroids are not hazardous to animal and human health



Boston University Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental Exposures and Health