Operation Outbreak

Operation Outbreak (O2) is a platform for infectious disease education, preparedness, and data generation created by Sarasota Military Academy Prep school and the Sabeti lab at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. O2 integrates an academic unit covering relevant science and humanities subjects with a culminating “outbreak simulation” experiential learning activity. This activity replicates a real-world outbreak scenario and guides hundreds of students on how to respond through a coordinated effort and use of technology, teaching them biology and public health in the process. I developed the O2 app that is used during the outbreak activity to simulate pathogen transmission over Bluetooth, symptoms of infected individuals, and the clinical outcome of patients. Thanks to a grant from Toshiba America Foundation, I included support for Bluetooth beacons that can be incorporated into the simulation as infectious sources, protective items (masks, hazmat suits), or immunizing vaccines.