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Disease Detectives

Division: B – Middle School

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 7.E.1.6, 7.L.1, 8.E.1.4, 8.L.1

Event Rules: See National Rules

Event Score Sheet: None

National Event Page: Here

Required Materials: Each team may bring one 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper that may contain information on both sides in any form and from any source along with two stand-alone non-programmable, non-graphing calculators.



Participants will use their investigative skills in the scientific study of disease, injury, health, and disability in populations or groups of people.

The event has been reorganized into three parts with each part counting approximately equally towards a team’s final score.

Part I: Background & Surveillance

Part II: Outbreak Investigation

Part III: Patterns, Control, and Prevention


Teams MUST bring a writing instrument.


High score wins. Points are given based on a scoring rubric that takes into account the difficulty level of questions, accuracy and quality of answers, and use of proper scientific methods.

Common Mistakes:




Event Resources:

Disease Detectives 2019 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2020 Rules)

Disease Detectives 2018 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2019 Rules)

2017 Coaches 101 (brand new coaches) Clinic Presentation

2017 Coaches 201 (familiar with the event) Clinic Presentation

2017 Coaches 301 (really know my stuff) Clinic Presentation
CDC Site on this event (National Sponsor, EXCELLENT RESOURCES)
Detectives in the Classroom
Case study lesson on Ebola from HHMI
NoroCORE – can you survive the Buffet Nightmare?

Glossaries of Important Terms

Evidence-Based Medicine Toolkit
Young Epidemiology Scholars

Useful Articles and Texts

Bad Bug Book
Ecology of Increasing Disease
CDC Epidemiologic Case Studies
Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice
WHO Basic Epidemiology
Epidemics After Natural Disasters
ActivEpi online textbook

Games and Simulations

Science Mystery
Outbreak at WatersEdge
CDC Solve the Outbreak
Epidemic (requires login)


Sample Events:
2007 National Div C Test
2008 DD Div C National Test 
2008 Div C National Test