Pandemic Education

Free Middle School Unit Explores COVID-19 and Health

Two organizations that want to transform science education to be more effective have released a beta version of a new instructional unit on COVID-19 and health. The free lessons from OpenSciEd and BSCS Science Learning are intended to help students learn how people help end pandemics.

Over the course of the unit, students study the latest pandemic in light of historical outbreaks, to develop their understanding of several concepts:

  • How the COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person and through communities;

  • How strategies to reduce transmission of COVID-19 work; and

  • How the actions of individual people can help to end pandemics.

The unit also supports development of two social emotional competencies: self-awareness and social awareness. The lessons use an inquiry-based approach. They're designed to cover 15 class periods of instruction, with optional extensions. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the two organizations consider the unit appropriate for use in middle school science, social studies or health classes.

The current version is a "field test" edition, which will be revised in late summer 2021.

To learn more, visit the OpenSciEd website and the BSCS website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.