It has been brought to my attention that there may be an illness spreading throughout the middle schools due to a recent rise in student absences. In researching the recent absences, I’ve noticed that in 2 of the 4 middle schools, Truman and Jackson, there was an unusual spike in the absences of band students on May 20 and 21. I reviewed the school calendars and noticed that Truman and Jackson Middle School had a Battle of the Bands event scheduled on May 19.
Interviews were conducted with some of the absentees’ parents, it has come to my attention that some of the band members likely went out to dinner after the event. I looked into recent health inspections of local restaurants available from the Health Department and there are several health violations at restaurants in close proximity to the schools. The school nurse also provided information that food poisoning symptoms can start within a day or two of eating contaminated food, which, based on interviews conducted, is when these students began seeing symptoms.
After reviewing the available data from the health department and schools, I offer that the absences are most likely related to food poisoning and not a contagious illness such as the flu or other epidemic. There would be no need to alert students, parents or the community about an outbreak. Thank you, Joanna Aeschbacker Community Health Department Investigator ? After conducting my investigation, I would have to ask a few other questions to support my hypothesis of food poisoning being the most likely cause of the absences: When were the restaurants inspections conducted?
If the inspections were done recently, then this helps support my hypothesis. If the inspections were conducted weeks prior to the event or after the event, the data provided from them I think would not be useful in supporting my hypothesis. Interviews were provided for some of the students, but I would like to interview as many as possible to ask: What symptoms did each absent student experience? I would want to know when the symptoms began to appear. If they all have similar symptoms and symptoms appeared around similar times, this supports my hypothesis.
Did each absent student go out to dinner after the Battle of the Bands? If each student went out to dinner then this supports my hypothesis. Where did each student go to dinner? If the students did go out to dinner and went to a restaurant with health code violations, then this supports my hypothesis. Assuming each student did go to dinner at a restaurant with health code violations, what did each student eat for dinner at the restaurant? If many, or all of the students ate the same thing, then this would help support my hypothesis. ?
Is the following statement a suitable hypothesis: “The Brentwood Indians basketball team lost the state championship because there is bad stuff in the stars happening with Mars in Aquarius”? Explain why or why not. I don’t believe this statement to be a suitable hypothesis. Astrology to me is more of a personal belief rather than scientific fact. Sure, there are coincidences that happen. Mars in Aquarius could mean disaster! But to base a basketball team’s performance on where the stars and planets are aligned is preposterous. There is no scientific data to back up this hypothesis; therefore it is not a suitable.
Courtney from Study Moose
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