Medical Mystery

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This activity (on pages 15-23) combines interactive role-playing and graphing to introduce learners to the health affects of pollen. In the first part, learners role-play a detective on a medical case and the main character in the case. Learners formulate a hypothesis about a patient's illness. In the second part, learners graph evidence based on pollen counts and create a "final report" about what caused the patient's health problem. This activity smoothly combines health education, environmental science, and math.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 4 colored pencils
  • pen or pencil
  • highlighter (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Health and Nutrition
      • Medicine
      • Respiration
      • Immune System
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, University of Nebraska State Museum and Nebraska 4-H, 2001

Funding Sources:

  • NSF Informal Science Education Program, 9909496
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute