“Punch-a-Bug” Trivia Game Well Received By Mainers


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), “at least 80 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.” To meet this urgency, the New England QIN-QIO Antimicrobial Stewardship Team in Maine developed a more interactive and engaging way to teach healthcare providers and beneficiaries about safe antibiotic prescribing and use.

Modeled after The Price is Right show, the Maine Team created the Punch-a-Bug game as a fun way to educate audience members about antibiotics. The board game is a foam core board and contains holes with tissue paper-covered cups that represent the “bugs.” Each cup contains a small prize.

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How to Play

To start the game, a QIN-QIO staff member (game host) assigns a number to each audience member. Then, the host draws four numbers and calls those four contestants to the front of the room.

Next, the host asks a statistical question related to antibiotic use. The contestant with the answer closest to the correct number gets a chance to “Punch a Bug” on the game board. Then, the contestant is asked a second, more specific question about antibiotics or the presentation. If he or she answers correctly, the contestant gets to “punch” the board to win a prize. This contestant then goes back to his or her seat in the audience. The host call up another contestant and the process starts over until all the holes in the board have been punched.

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Reception of Versatile Game

Since incorporating this game into presentations, the feedback has been extremely positive. Using this educational game actively engages participants to participate in learning, rather than a more sedentary role.

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Feedback from Maine:

  • “So creative”
  • “Plan to steal this idea for staff meetings”
  • “Really engaging and fun way to learn”


This game is versatile and can be used with different populations by changing the questions used to be appropriate for the audience’s educational level. The game was also featured at a senior expo where attendees visiting the QIN-QIO table were invited to play. For this particular setting, contestants were asked consumer- and patient-facing questions. Within a couple hours at this expo, word spread about the popular game, creating an influx of seniors visiting the table to play the game.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, November 07). Antibiotic Prescribing and Use. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use

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