SCRUB: Science Creates Real Understanding of Biosecurity

SCRUB Kits link hands-on activities with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, by combining science with fun activities and engaging youth in grades 6 to 12 who are interested in animal science.

The kits focus on four areas:
  1. Disease transfer - coming soon
  2. Cleaning and disinfecting - see below
  3. Vaccine handling - coming soon
  4. Building a biosecure farm - coming soon

The kits come with instructor and student guides and offer inexpensive hands-on activities. The Cleaning and Disinfecting Kit is now available for use. Scroll down to the Resources tab to download the printable version of the cleaning and disinfecting instructor guide; the student guide will be available soon.

More kits will be added in the near future. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about the SCRUB Kits.

Goals for the SCRUB Kits


  • Teach youth about farm animal biosecurity, because they take their animals places to exhibit them.

  • Demonstrate and reinforce key concepts of the Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture Biosecurity Learning Modules.

  • Help students to see real life examples of the importance of biosecurity measures and compliance.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Activities and Instructions


Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting to Prevent and Contain Disease Transmission

Proper hygiene and sanitation are keys to reducing the spread of animal diseases and human diseases as well. Proper sanitation involves not only washing to remove the visible dirt but also proper use of both detergents and disinfectants. The facilities which house animals and the materials of which they are constructed may make these tasks more difficult.

In this activity, students will explore their ability to scrub away the hidden germs on themselves, their footwear, and materials that are commonly used to build animal enclosures.

Key Concepts

  • What is a fomite?
  • How are animal diseases typically spread?

Goals & Learning Objectives

At the end of this activity, participants should be ready to do the following:

  1. Explain what “animal biosecurity” is to friends or family members.
  2. Emphasize the importance of proper cleaning techniques to limit disease spread.
  3. Differentiate between surfaces/objects in animal environments which can harbor disease most easily and compare their ease in cleaning.
  4. Identify the most effective cleaning and disinfecting methods used to limit disease spread.
  5. Describe the most frequent cleaning/disinfecting mistakes which commonly occur, and the importance of following thorough cleaning and disinfectant instructions and protocols to eliminate pathogens.

Setting the Scene

Provide a real-world example of an animal disease (e.g., foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), vesicular stomatitis (VS), etc.) and how it is spread.

Choose diseases most likely to be of interest to the particular group. Include additional information you think would be helpful or educational to participants. You can also open it up for questions after the lecture. For example, if your students are more interested in cattle, choose a disease scenario based on a bovine disease. Consider inviting participants to research diseases in advance.

Other Options

The scenario can be set up in a variety of ways, depending on the age, knowledge level, background, and experience of your participants. For example, if you are working with 4-H Horse Project youth, “strangles” would be a potentially recognizable disease to choose. High school FFA senior students could have the activity involve research on their part to identify the disease based on “presenting" signs, and establish methods of transmission and procedures, practices, or changes in behavior on the farm/ranch to decrease transmission potential. A third option could involve a “CSI” or crime scene investigation set up where a veterinarian “needs help” determining how to advise their ranching clients to prevent an outbreak or broad spread of a specific disease.

Sample Disease Presentation

Choose diseases which may be of interest from the disease charts provided in Appendix A and stories of disease transmission in Appendix B. The following is an example using PEDv.

Porcine epidemic disease virus (PEDv)

June 2014

First identified in the United States in May 2013, the disease had spread to 30 states by June 2014. It is estimated that PEDv killed more than 10% of pigs born. In a study of an outbreak involving 222 swine units in 4 states, 40.5% of all units were found positive for PEDv. However, 80% of the sow units were found positive. The study also found geographic clustering of positive units, meaning units that were near units that had an incidence of PEDv were more likely to also acquire the disease.

March 22, 2019

Several pigs at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) were diagnosed with PEDv as confirmed by OSU’s Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Several pigs became ill and it is assumed most pigs at the show were exposed, including the pigs of the 2019 Night of Stars show and all of the pigs at the gilt and barrow shows. It has been recommended to take biosecurity measures to prevent the disease from spreading to farms when the pigs are brought home or sold.