Two units for middle school are being developed and tested that can be used either in one grade level or across two grade levels.
Unit I: What Controls My Health?
Designed to meet NGSS and the new Michigan Science Standards, “What Controls My Health?” is a coordinated set of classroom and community activities intended to give youth and adults an understanding of modern concepts in genetics using Type 2 diabetes as the real-world context. Students and their families can use these concepts to appreciate the importance of both genetic and environmental factors in their risk for disease. The curriculum connects students to real-world experiences and provides relevance for their learning. One in 10 adults in Michigan are diagnosed with diabetes, which like many common diseases, is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. During the unit, students investigate how lifestyle options for healthy foods and exercise help prevent or reduce diabetes. For their final project, students conduct an action research project to improve their school or neighborhood to help prevent or reduce diabetes.
- Year 1 (2014-15): Curriculum Development (10-week unit for middle school and User Testing (Detroit))
- Year 2 (2015-16: Pilot testing (1 6th grade teacher/Flint; 2 6th grade teachers/Detroit)
- Year 3 (2016-17): Field testing (9 6th grade teacher/Flint,11 classrooms (~350 students); 1 6th grade teacher/Detroit, 4 classrooms (~280 students)
- Year 4 (2017-18): Field testing in progress
NGSS Performance Expectations With Potential Relevance to SEPA Project
- MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
- MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.
- MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
- MS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
- MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
Download most recent version of this curriculum below.
Unit II: in development
- Year 3 (2016-17): Curriculum Development (10-week unit for middle school and User Testing (Detroit))
- Year 4 (2017-18): Pilot testing in progress
- Year 5 (2018-19): Field testing TBD