We want to teach biology to high school students in a framework that is relevant to their lives. Disease provides this framework because it affects us all. In addition, educating students about disease will enable them to make informed choices about their health. Considering this, infectious disease is particularly relevant because of its continual impact on individuals and society; we can relate to the aches, pains, and fever resulting from infections, and these experiences can be used to engage students in real-life biology.
To supplement the Metabolic Disease curriculum, we offer case studies to provide students the opportunity to experience how science is practiced. Students are asked to develop scientific questions, design experiments, analyze data, predict results, evaluate data, communicate, and develop models. The Great Diseases case studies are based on actual data obtained from primary research papers. This type of activity provides students with evidence in increments, mimicking the process of research.
The case studies work best when used in recommended sequence with their corresponding Great Diseases module(s); however, each can also be used as a “standalone” lesson.