Name: Stephanie Makowski

School: The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury Connecticut


My project aimed at changing the views of children because these are going to be the next adults, so if I can change how seriously they view antibiotics, then I can inspire them to be more careful about their use and more skeptical as to whether they need them or not. I chose to make it a board game so that kids would be learning it without even realizing it. I will be doing a lesson with the seventh grade human biology class in my school, so that they can play the game and learn about antibiotic resistance. I will also be playing it with my nephews so that they can learn too. I hope that it will be something that kids of any age can play and learn from. Although these audiences are small, collectively it is about 15 people, I am hoping that a toy company could see this idea and make similar board games to sell.


The youngest player goes first by rolling a die with various colors on it. They then move their antibiotic jar to the closest spot on the board with the same color as the one they rolled. Once there, they pick a card of the same color and follow the directions. There are fun facts, questions, mistakes, and successes. Some tell the player to take a token while others just order them to move forward or back. There are also two special squares on the board, one that tells the person to roll again and the other that makes them lose a turn because the antibiotics got stuck in the biofilm. The object of the game is to be the first person to get to the end. This happens when one rolls a color that there is no more left of ahead. They immediately go to the green rectangle labeled ‘stop.’ That person is the winner and becomes the scientist. At this point, all the other players count the number of tokens they have. Whoever has the most becomes the doctor.

Antibiotic Jar Pawns

Full View of Board

Tokens and die

These are the various categories I included for my game:

Fun Facts

Fun Fact: Through what is known as horizontal gene transfer, Bacteria can give each other their resistance.

Fun Fact: Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria.

Fun Fact: At least 23,000 people in the United States alone die from antibiotic resistance every year.

Fun Fact: Sometimes, antibiotics lead to Clostridium difficile infections, which happen when the good bacteria in a person’s colon are killed and so cannot keep this other kind in check. Therefore, these ones take over and cause colon issues.

Fun Fact: Did you know that children and adults are most likely to use antibiotics.

Fun fact: 30% of the antibiotics prescribed to children are unnecessary.

Fun Fact: 10.7 billion dollars are spent on antibiotics every year in the U.S. alone.

Fun Fact: Did you know that most antibiotics come from other bacteria making them as a defense mechanism?

Fun Fact: 58,000 babies died in India in one year because of antibiotic resistance.

Fun Fact: In the U.S., more than 2 million illnesses are caused by resistant bacteria.

Fun Fact: Less than one percent of all bacteria are pathogenic.

Fun Fact: Bacteria living in and on you outnumber your human cells 10:1.

Question Cards

You have an ear infection and some leftover

antibiotics in your medicine cabinet. Do you take them?

Yes or No

If you guessed no, move forward two spaces. Antibiotics should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. If you guessed yes, move back two.

You start feeling better. Should you stop taking the antibiotics early even though you have more left in the container?

Yes or no

If you answered no move forward three spaces. It is important to always finish every prescription of antibiotics unless your doctor tells you not to. If you said yes, move back one.

You go to the doctor’s office. They say you have a virus. Should they prescribe antibiotics?

Yes or no

They should not! Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections! They will not help get rid of a virus nor will they help alleviate symptoms.

With antibiotic resistance, who becomes resistant? People or bacteria?

If you said bacteria, move ahead two spaces. Bacteria are the ones using certain defense strategies that prevent them from getting killed by the antibiotic. If you said humans, move back one space.

How long have we known about antibiotic resistance for?

  1. 1800
  2. 1845
  3. 1900
  4. 1945

If you said 1945, move ahead two spaces. Alexander Fleming, the doctor who discovered the first antibiotic, warned of this in 1945. If you guessed any other answer, stay where you are and roll during your next turn.

True or false: Penicillin was the first antibiotic ever discovered.

True. Move forward two if you were correct. Otherwise, move back one.

You have pink eye. Should your doctor prescribe antibiotics?

Yes! Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is caused by a bacterial infection.

You have Strep Throat. Should your doctor give you antibiotics?

Yes. Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes which is a bacteria.

Challenge: In 2015, there was an outbreak of this bacteria in Chipotle restaurants.

  1. Salmonella
  2. Campylobacter
  3. E. Coli
  4. Norovirus

If you said E. Coli, you were right! E. Coli is a bacteria that often causes food poisoning symptoms. Move ahead three spaces if you were correct. Move ahead only one if you went with any of the other choices.

Proper Usage

Good job! You have been researching new antibiotics. Take a token & move forward three spaces.

You took your full prescription instead of ending early. Take a token & move forward three spaces.

Your cows are not given any antibiotics. Take a token & move forward three spaces.

You wash your hands, which protects you from ever getting an infection in the first place, which minimizes your use of antibiotics. Take a token & move forward three spaces.

You made sure that your little brother took all of his antibiotics. Take a token and move forward three spaces.

You donated to a lab that is trying to find new antibiotics. Take a token & move forward three spaces.

You are on antibiotics for an ear infection. Move forward one space because when you need antibiotics the benefits usually outweigh the risks.

You are vaccinated so that now you will never get certain infections that would make you go on antibiotics. Move ahead three spaces.

You did a project and educated other people on antibiotic resistance. Move ahead two spaces and take a token.

You gave your dog his full dose of antibiotics for his ear infection instead of ending early. Move ahead two.

Improper Use of Antibiotics

You gave your antibiotics to a friend. Lose a turn.

Your sister likes the bubble gum flavor of the antibiotics she never finished. She decided to have some. Move back one space because it is dangerous to take antibiotics when you don’t need them and it contributes to antibiotic resistance.

Your butcher does not like to wash his hands after working with possibly contaminated meat. Move back one space.

You had a horseback riding lesson, but you did not wash your hands, which increases the likelihood that you are spreading germs. Move back one space.

You have been feeling uncomfortable because you are sick with the flu. Your doctor prescribed antibiotics because you asked for them. Move back two spaces because antibiotics will not help with non bacteria related symptoms.

You were just given antibiotics for your cold. Move back one space because the common cold is caused by a virus and only bacteria are affected by antibiotics.

Your farmer has been using antibiotics to make sure that his animals do not get sick. His preventative measures have contributed to antibiotic resistance. Go back two spaces.

Oh no! Your doctor prescribed acne medication for you although you don’t have acne. His actions have contributed to antibiotic resistance. Move back two spaces.

Please note that the following websites were used in the creation of this game: