Educational Materials – NoroCORE Food Virology

Educational Materials

Here are a collection of materials that we make freely available to educators and the public for teaching people about noroviruses.  We will add more resources as time goes on, so keep checking back!


The Nightmare Buffet

Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This 1-hour exercise is designed to be given to high school or college biology students and introduces them to a public health, the farm-to-fork continuum, and food safety.  Students first take the role of attendees at a buffet, and some of them become “sick” with norovirus.  It’s up to the students to determine which food at the buffet was contaminated with norovirus and then do a mock traceback investigation to discover where and how it happened.

All of the materials needed to conduct this lab are below, and instructors are free to edit the documents to fit their needs:


Instructor Handout

Student Handout

Traceback Spreadsheet


Norovirus vs Humanity Card Game


Viruses and their hosts are often thought of as being in an evolutionary arms race with each other.  For example, a virus might mutate and escape the host’s immune system, but then we may create vaccines in response.

This two-player game illustrates the interplay that goes on between humans and our “perfect human pathogen,” norovirus.  The game is simple enough for children to learn, but adults can enjoy it too!

You can download the full game here and make the cards at home.  For best results, we recommend printing on two sheets of cardstock then cutting out the cards along the gray outlines. Artwork will be printed on both sides of the paper.

We conveniently also have some copies of the game already printed on playing cards, and if interested in sets for your classroom or personal use, please email us at

If you want to play this game with a large group, such as at a conference, we also have a version we can provide where players join Team Humanity or Team Norovirus and earn points.


Make Your Own Norovirus

A 3D folded paper model of the norovirusIf you have a printer, scissors, glue or tape, and a little patience, you can make your own paper model of the norovirus capsid!  There’s also a YouTube video if you need a little help.

Viruses have a protein coat called the capsid, which protects the genome of the virus.  The norovirus capsid is made of 180 copies of a single protein, which assemble into a 60-sided ball.  The norovirus capsid plays a role in our cells becoming infected and enables the virus to persist in the environment, as well as be resistant to many sanitizers and disinfectants.






Educational Animations on Norovirus

Our Collaborators at the New Mexico State University Media Productions Team have created a set of wonderful animations about noroviruses, which are available on our YouTube channel.