Middle School

Two units for middle school are being developed that can be used either in one grade level or across two grade levels. The modules will be interactive and will involve hands-on activities, class discussion, simulations, and modeling, and will involve projects that students can carry out with their families outside the classroom. The materials will address core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting ideas. Materials will also be developed and tested to support teacher learning and professional development

The modules will relate the scientific concepts to health issues salient to the students and their families, will describe paths of genomic research being carried out by NIH and other agencies and institutions, and will stimulate student interest in pursuing careers related to science and health.


  • Year 1 (2014-15):         Curriculum Development (2 4-week units for middle school (Detroit and Flint) and User Testing)
  • Year 2 (2015-16:           2-4 classrooms during Year 2 (1 teacher/district)
  • Years 3,4,5 (2016-19):  4-8 classrooms (30 students/class; 420-840 students) (2-4 teachers and 1-2 middle schools/district)
  • Years 4, 5  (2017-19):   2-4 classrooms in a different community in (30 students/class; 120-240 additional students).

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.