Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

John Snow, the First Epidemiologist

Download this Activity

In this activity, students will learn about John Snow, considered to be the father of epidemiology. They will learn how he used scientific methods to identify the environment in which cholera was spreading. By disrupting this environment, he ended the epidemic. Then students will learn more about modern-day "disease detectives," deciding whether this would be a possible career for them to pursue.

Students will:

  • Describe the scientific methods that John Snow used to identify the environment in which cholera could spread
  • Apply what they have learned about environmental conditions as a factor in the spread of infectious diseases

Relevant Standards:
This activity fulfills science and health education standards [PDF - 271 KB].

BAM! Body and Mind Resources:

  • Disease Detectives — Profiles CDC "detectives" as they track down the source of diseases and help stop them.
  • Stalking SARS — Students can track SARS and CDC's work to stop it from the beginning in this interactive feature.
  • Operation Flame Out — Students can examine the process that CDC uses to tackle public health problems such as smoking.