High school students spent a day learning crisis management with a Zombie Apocalypse scenario.
At the Northwest Career & Technical Academy, real rain and lightning set the state for the emergency broadcast updates of the staged lock-down.
The school had been exposed to “ZAWKS” a fictitious bacteria that was supposed to cause zombie-like symptoms. The bacteria was named by combining the words zombie and hawks, the schools mascot. The scenario engaged students in a problem based learning activity.
“We’ve eliminated the traditional classroom setting for a day,” said the school’s community partnership coordinator, David Philippi. “This is a good team-building exercise, not just for the students but for the teachers as well.”
“This started as a joke between friends,” said Susan McGivney, math teacher and department chair. “When I pitched the idea, admin decided that the whole school should get involved. After the Ebola outbreak, we realized that this was something that could theoretically happen. It prepares students for real-life situations.”
The idea was that Clark County Museums administrator Mark Hall-Patton had experienced an earthquakewwhile visiting the Nevada Test Site a few days before visiting the school and falling ill a day after the visit. He was patient zero.
Emergency broadcasts were shown throughout the day, and students were given jobs to contain the spread of infection.