Parasite Simulation


To account students with some basics about malaria and a simulation of how the disease is spread. Also, to demonstrate the red blood cell stage of the parasite's lifecycle. 


  • Gummy worms
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Red food coloring
  • Water (tap water is fine)
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic knives
  • Table cloth
  • 3-4 bowls


  1. How To:
    • Prepare the ‘blood’ (vinegar and red food coloring):
      • Fill the clear plastic cups about half-way with vinegar and add 1 drop of red food coloring to each cup
    • Prepare the ‘parasites’
      • Cut each gummy worm very thin so that they will be able to float in the vinegar solution
    • Actual simulation
      • Coat each gummy worm in baking soda and place in the ‘blood’ solution
      • Observe the way the parasite moves



  • Parasite lifecycle → red blood cell stage
  • Parasite movement impacts how the disease spreads
  • Basis of sickle cell gene carrying immunity