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We give science teachers the tools and skills to help students overcome misconceptions and misinformation about climate change, evolution, and the nature of science.

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Science Can Make You Strong

This lesson’s primary goal is to help meet one of the most essential challenges in high school science: How do you help students distinguish between sound science and unintentional misinformation or even blatant pseudoscience? This lesson applies information and insights gained from the first four nature of science COVID-19 storylines to investigate an important current topic — the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of diseases. As new discoveries emerge, this lesson will continue to be updated for relevance. 

Age Level
Grades 9-12
4-6 50 minute classes

NGSS Standards

DCIs (Disciplinary Core Ideas)
Nature of Science:
  1. HS-ETS1.A1: Criteria and constraints also include satisfying any requirements set by society, such as taking issues of risk mitigation into account, and they should be quantified to the extent possible and stated in such a way that one can tell if a given design meets them.
  2. HS-ETS1.B1: When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Performance Expectations

Nature of Science:
  1. HS-ETS-1-1: Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
  2. HS-ETS-1-3: Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Other Relevant NGSS References

  1. NGSS Appendix F: Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS
  2. NGSS Appendix G: Crosscutting Concepts
  3. NGSS Appendix H: Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: The Nature of Science in the Next Generation Science Standards
  4. NGSS Appendix J: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment

Note: Due to the nature of this entire unit, these four appendices are a vital component of why these activities are important in the science classroom. While a wide variety of science topics are selected to demonstrate the nature of science, all five mini-unit lesson sets incorporate the ideals of these four appendices and provide numerous opportunities for the application of scientific knowledge across a variety of disciplines.

This is a beta version of Lesson Set Five.