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Great Diseases


The Four Modules: Infectious Disease, Neurological Disorders, Metabolic Disease, and Cancer

The goal of this project is to engage high school students with the science behind their real world experiences. To do this, Tufts scientists and Boston Public School (BPS) teachers are collaborating to bring together the content knowledge and pedagogical skill needed to design a curriculum based on ‘the great diseases’. Each module consists of a 6-week course addressing topics related to a specific disease.

Module 1: Infectious Disease

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. The infectious disease module has been constructed around five key questions that an informed citizen will want answered in order to understand how infectious disease impacts them. The students will address each of these questions and then, for a final project, they will use them to understand an infectious disease of their choice.

Module 2: Neurological Disorders

The Neurological Disorders Module is organized around five key questions. These questions guide our investigation of the nervous system from the building blocks of our brains to how our brains control behavior. The students will explore each of these questions and then, for a final project, use what they have learned to describe how the different choices we make can change our brains.

Module 3: Metabolic Disease

The Metabolic Disease Module is organized around five key questions. These questions guide our investigation of how our bodies use food, and what this means for our health. The students will explore each of these questions and then, for a final project, use what they have learned to describe how the different choices we make about what to eat can affect our bodies.

Module 4: Cancer

This module is in development. Details coming fall 2013!