Defeat the variant (Covid-19)

Your Exam 3  is a creative and written exam. You will upload one Word document or PDF

Read all carefully

You have 2 parts to this Exam. All placed into one document

(1) A written report

(2) A piece of creative marketing material you created.

When is it due: You have from the time it opens until it closes. You can resubmit as many times as you like until it closes. It closes at 11:59PM Monday April 26th

Objective: To demonstrate your ability to research a topic, aggregate the scientific material into a concise comprehensive report based upon the use of your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Use technology to communicate your concepts to others in a format which augments the written format in a more creative, visual or auditory manner to persuade an individual to buy-in to your proposal .

Submission file types accepted: pdf or doc or docx

(If your creative is audio ( like a podcast or commercial you created) or video then you must submit a Word document, audio/video will not work inside a PDF)

Goal: Defeat the variant

What I am looking for: I want to know that you understand how to research and find reputable sources of scientific information. I want to see that you understand the COVID19 virus, how it infects, the important proteins on its surface that have been found. I want to see that you understand what a viral mutation is and how they occur, how this effects a population, why they are a concern. I want to see that you can show what you have learned in a written format with academic structure. Make sure you clearly give subheadings to your 5 sections. Do not make one big run-on document without structure. I want to know that you can apply your knowledge to solve a problem. I want to know that you can make other forms of communication (audio, video, image etc.) to persuade an audience to accept your concepts/strategy. In short: Show me what you know and what you can create.

Premise: It is the year 2045 and you are working on a space station outpost on Mars.  The members of the outpost are falling sick in the neighboring living pods with a virus. The virus is a variant COVID19 from 2020. All the inhabitants have been vaccinated, the virus appears to be a variant/mutation that evades the immunity from the original vaccine. All inhabitants were vaccinated before they came to the outpost. The vaccine does not appear to be protecting the inhabitants, as they are beginning to fall ill with the virus. You are the only person who has taken Bio 3 and survived the 2020 pandemic. You are placed in charge of controlling the outbreak by designing a strategy to safeguard the inhabitants and defeat the virus variant.

If successful, your strategy proposal will be funded and implemented. Your strategy and your proposal here will be delivered to the inhabitants so they can read and understand what you have suggested and implement your plan. Your marketing material will be delivered to the people so they can feel safe participating in your your strategy.

The 5 parts to your written report:
(1) Begin your paper with an Introduction. Describe the virus COVID 19. Be sure to describe it scientifically with the important proteins and architecture of the virus. Do your research to find information about the virus itself. What viral family does it belong to, what are other viruses that are in the same family. What are the known proteins on it’s surface etc. What is known and what is not known.  Be sure to cite your references! Any statement of fact should have a citation. If you did not discover it, you need to cite it.

(2) How viruses mutate: Explain how viruses mutate and how variants are created. Research scientific articles and use them to explain how viruses mutate. Be sure to cite all your references. Show that you understand how viruses mutate, use scientific facts.

(3) Containment and Elimination Strategy. Think deeply about this. Your job is to create a plan to stop the variant from spreading and eliminate the virus from the colony. You must explain your rational for what you wish to be adopted and used by the inhabitants to contain and eliminate the virus. Your rationale must be based upon science and justified using references to scientific materials. It must be detailed, complete and all statements of fact referenced and cited.

(For example you may choose an isolate, test, revaccinate strategy… must detail how you will test all inhabitants ( cite studies that show your rationale for testing), lockdown all inhabitants for how long (cite studies that backup your timeline), how you will sanitize all pods(cite studies), how you will test all food pods(cite studies), devise a way to deliver food to locked down inhabitants, how you will create a new vaccine ( type of vaccine you will create, against what part of the virus? cite studies), decide when you will release inhabitants from lock down( cite studies that support your rationale), what will be your criteria( cite studies)? How will you eliminate the virus from the colony? You may also choose to devise a strategy that does not include lockdown nor new vaccines… will you prevent spread and safeguard your inhabitants? cite studies that support your strategy. Be detailed and specific

(4) Marketing Content: Create some form of marketing content that the supervisors can give to the inhabitants to make sure they feel comfortable implementing your strategy. Think about what you want to see, what would make you feel comfortable implementing your strategy. You have creative freedom here, you can create a poster or video using a free Canva template (Links to an external site.) or record a podcast style audio ( 2mins max)/make a webpage or Instagram story saved as an image or make a TicTock style video ( 2 mins max)…… totally up to you. You have to embed it in your document and embed it in the discussion for the week for your colleagues to view as well. Make sure all videos conform to academic standards.(ie- no violence, nudity, foul language etc. make sure you have the consent of others that you may choose to have in your video)

For example, perhaps you choose to lockdown the inhabitants as part of your strategy….you might need to create an Instagram reel or audio podcast style commercial ad to explain to them how long they will be locked down and why and what happens next to open up the colony in a fun friendly way. Do not make any resources in the real Instagram  nor the real TicTock etc. For example if you choose to make a video, use a free Canva  template/customize it and save it as an mp4 and embed the template video into the Word document and also into your discussion for the week so your colleagues can see your fabulous creation. Make sure your content can stand alone and can be understood without reading your full paper.

(5) Reference page- place all your references into one reference page and be sure to have your citations inside your document that relate back to your reference page. Use proper citation style. Do not have a string of references and no citations in your paper. If you do not know how to cite see the bottom of this page for links to learn how.

If you choose to make a new vaccine:

There is a paper in the COVID19 resources page inside your pages that explains vaccine strategies, should you choose to create a new vaccine you must explain which vaccine strategy you will use ( killed, recombinant, mRNA etc……detail which COVID19 protein or part or whole you will use). Choose the vaccine strategy to use and explain what the strategy is ( for example if you choose mRNA vaccine, then you must explain what an mRNA vaccine is) and why you choose it. Your pages under COVID19 resources has many resources to help with your research.

If you choose to make a new vaccine you must: Run a BLAST using COVID 19 as your virus (as you did as a bonus in your DNA Lab. Do NOT upload your bacteria identification DNA use the second part of the pdf power point below to remind you on how to BLAST from a protein) and make your vaccine based upon your vaccine strategy choice.  Copy and paste the genomic/protein information inside your paper (see your Canvas Page  “COVID19 Resources and Literature”  to help in your research and the knowledge from your DNA lab on how to perform a BLAST. Here is a pdf copy of the power point to help with the BLAST as well ). Certainly, you can choose any COVID19 protein you like ( the Michigan link inside the pdf might be helpful to find a different interesting protein to target, you must show the protein is part of the virus’s DNA through the BLAST). Be sure to include what it is and its function and how you intend to use it (ie-as a target for a vaccine, as a target for a drug molecule to block etc.). You can get innovative and creative here if you wish. (Who knows, you may find a new way to target this virus!) Make sure you include your computer’s time in your screen shot to show it is your work and not an image copy obtained from someone else. Be sure your BLAST info is readable.

Paper details:

12 point font size.

You can include 1-3 images if you choose to do so (be sure to reference where you obtained the image). Format for readability. College level detail is expected. High school level and papers lacking scientific terminology and detail will do poorly. Justifications and rationale for your choices is expected. Ultimately, you will have written a working document that will serve as a functioning plan to be sent out to all the inhabitants, complete with a piece of marketing material to help convince them to participate in your strategy. Be complete in your work.

Add your Marketing content to your plan at the end (image/pdf page/audio/video etc.) of your document, on your last page before your reference page. This is part of your document. Submit one PDF or Word document (if using audio). Check to make sure any images and content works before you upload it!

Note: You will upload your marketing material separately to your week’s discussion, so save the file separately for your discussion. Here is how to make a discussion upload.

Be sure to Cite your work! Be sure to add references when outside materials and work is used. Add a reference page to hold your references. You should have at least 10 references on your reference page. References show the level of research you completed. Do not plagiarize work you did not create. Cite! Use any conventional reference style (such as APA or MLA. You can not make up your own reference style). See below for links on common reference styles if you are unsure. 

If you do not know how to cite use these links. Most people Fail due to improper citing because they did not look at the materials below to help.

Here is a link to a series of short videos and pages on how and when to cite work in your papers for those who have not learned to cite your references or are unsure of how to cite:

APA style guidelines and videos:Links to an external site.

SMC Academic integrity and plagiarism (Links to an external site.)

Your paper will automatically be sent to TurnItIn for a plagiarism check

When you submit, your document will be automatically sent to “TurnItIn” for a plagiarism check. When you submit this will happen automatically. It will give you a report. After you submit, go to your gradebook and click on the flag you will see next to the Exam. From there click on the number in the report. This number is the number of plagiarism items it found and it will show you which lines in your document have the duplicated material from others. Review the report, make changes to get to zero and resubmit. You will lose the number of points as a percentage that it finds plagiarized in addition to having a loss of 50% of your point total. In other words, you plagiarize, you will fail. Please check your work before uploading it and check your report after submission.

How to check your turnItIn report

Review your TurnItIn report and make any and all necessary changes and re-upload before the assignment closes. Your TurnItIn report can be found in your grades tab in your gradebook after you submit your pdf. When you submit, your file will automatically be run through TurnItIn. You can then go to the gradebook and you can see the report by clicking the Flag next to the grade in the gradebook. Review it! click on the flag, it will take you to the report, then number on the right inside the report (indicating the number of items flagged) and it will show you exactly what it flagged and where in your document it is relating back to. Make your changes in your original document and resubmit before the close. There is no reason anyone should should Fail due to plagiarism when you have the ability to see your report and make changes.


What if TurnItIn is flagging common words? I review every report, and will disregard any inappropriate flags of common words

How many pages are expected? I do not grade work based upon page count, I base grading on quality of the content. You have a maximum of 7 pages including your reference page.

English is not my primary language should I be concerned about the written report?: All students should consider using a free review service like Grammerly (Links to an external site.) to review their written work, even those who have English as their primary language.

Is there a way my written report can be reviewed before I submit it? I do not review any papers before submission. You can use the SMC course that has been created to review written assignments. it is in your pages tab called “Writing Help Resources”. Signup for the course as instructed and submit your work. They will review your work for proper construction and give suggestions for changes. They will not review for the scientific correctness of your actual content. This is very valuable if you have never written a college level paper before. Submit your final daft and review your TurnItIn report to make sure you have no plagiarism flags you need to correct. If so, correct the document and resubmit. You can resubmit as many times as needed until it closes.

What document types can I submit? The system will only accept pdf, doc and docx files. Submit a word file if you have audio in your marketing materials or a mp4 video embedded, these will not work inside a pdf. Open your file and make sure your marketing materials work before submitting.

Can I get creative and use robots and drones etc.? Of course! I hope you do get creative and take a few liberties. Just explain why you choose the creative you are using and how it/they will make your strategy much better than the competitors.
How can I make sure I have all the important information in my paper? Be sure to read the guidelines for each of the 5 sections. Use the sections to help you choose what you want to discuss/address in your strategy design. Think about the important details you should cover for someone to be able to implement your strategy. You can review your strategy with a family member or friend and pay attention to the questions they ask you. This may help guide you to details you may be missing and need to include in your strategy.
The guidelines for the document is large, am I supposed to address everything in my paper, won’t my paper be huge? You should be brief but concise ( this is a skill you are learning and demonstrating here). Your paper will contain a lot, distill it down to what is important to address for your concept. Add your scientific citations for your rationale.
I am confused about the Marketing section…what I am I supposed to design? Design your concept’s marketing material (1 piece not a full campaign).  2 minutes max for all audio or video. What you design is up to you. Have fun with it. Design just one piece of marketing material that will be given to the population that is scheduled to participate in your strategy. Use your current major and unique skills to make them feel comfortable, know your strategy is safe and make them look forward to participating in what you suggested. How you do that is up to you. I look forward to seeing what you create.
How do I add audio or video into my word document?: Here are directions for adding video to a word document.  (Links to an external site.)Here are directions for adding audio to a word document
This is done in this manner:
Position the insertion point where you want the sound inserted.
Choose Object from the Insert. Word displays the Object dialog box.
Click on the Create from File tab. …
Use the controls on the dialog box to locate a sound file that you want included with your document.
Click on OK.
Save the document and reopen to check that your sound or video file plays
What if I have questions?: Ask all questions during Zoom, this way all can benefit from hearing the answer

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