Join students Sophie, Tomás, Emma, and Marcus during Fifth Period! This STEM comic strip chronicles the exciting and often hilarious adventures of a close-knit group of four friends as they learn about science, technology, engineering, and math from their kooky, inspiring, off-the-wall science teacher, Mr. Kepler. When they're not in class, these kids love to explore the vast world of STEM on their own, launching weather balloons, programming computer games, and cataloging insects, sometimes with unpredictable and highly entertaining results!
Check back on the first and third Friday of every month for a new Fifth Period strip!
Sophie the Scorcher
That is some fever Sophie has—school is out of the question for her today. Flu season will be here before you know it, so it's a great time to learn about the amazing ways your body responds to infection. While a fever could never get hot enough to burn someone else (if it does, you might be a superhero), some people believe it does get hot enough to make it harder for bad microorganisms to grow in your body. However, if a fever gets too high, it can actually damage your organs. Ouch!
Fevers are a sign that your body's defense system is working! They are caused by the complex interactions of chemicals released by your white blood cells. When a white blood cell “sees” a pathogen like a virus or bacterium, it releases chemicals into your blood to communicate to other helpful disease-fighting cells. The presence of those chemicals in your blood tells your brain to raise your body temperature, and—voilà—you have a fever.
Think about it!
What's the highest fever you've ever had, and what were you sick with? Does a higher fever correspond to a more severe sickness? Is your body working harder to defend itself?