Solve the Outbreak

Pretend to be an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Detectives deal with data and make decisions to determine the dawn of the disease!

6th - 12th Science 83 Views 37 Downloads
App Overview

Select an outbreak by tapping on a glowing orb or opening the Quick Menu in the home screen. Read clues, graphs, and data tables in order to make decisions to solve fictional epidemics, all the while learning about different diseases, how they spread, and ways to treat them. After the investigation, players can read the true story behind the fictional case.


  • Optional sound effects include simple clicks, buzzers, bells, and applause
  • Share scores via social networks 
  • Earn points and badges, and advance in rank (trainee, novice, apprentice, assistant, specialist, investigator, lead investigator, chief, master, and disease detective)
  • Many links to the CDC website for more specific information
  • In the Quick Menu:
    • Learn: Explanations of epidemiology, disease detectives, epi curves, and more
    • Scores: View your stats, rankings badges, and achievements 
    • About: Information on the CDC, the app, privacy, and more
    • Help: Comprehensive instructions on how to play, understanding scores, and using the tutorial screen
Join for full overview
Curator Rating
  • Adherence to task
  • Worth the money
  • Fun factor
  • Scaffolding of learning
  • User safety
  • Control and feedback
  • How techie do I need to be?
Instructional Ideas

This is a stellar critical thinking and problem solving opportunity for small groups to work through together. If you have enough mobile devices for each lab group, assign them the same outbreak to investigate and compare scores for an in-class competition. Another option would be to assign different cases to each group and have them share theirs with the rest of the class.

If you only have one tablet, connect it to a projector. You could begin each day of an epidemiology unit with your biologists by going through one case and discussing it together.

Classroom Considerations

Solve the Outbreak is only compatible with tablets, not with Smartphones. Unfortunately you won't be able to have individuals download it unless they happen to have their own personal tablets. 

Be aware that within the app on a single device, scores are only retained for one player. The ideal ongoing use of the app would be if your learners all had their own tablets and could share their scores with you.

  • Highly informative and interesting
  • Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Outstanding quality for a free application
  • None