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CREATE Science Seminar Speaker: Dr. Barbara Hug, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
April 18 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Title: Using ecosystem models to examine students’ developing understanding of vector-borne disease.
Abstract: The Next Generation Science Standards emphasize the interconnected nature of scientific practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. As part of a curriculum development/ professional development project, we have developed a curriculum unit that weaves together these three dimensions of science learning as students explore the dynamic nature of ecosystems and interactions of organisms within the ecosystem. The unit, titled, “Why are these kids getting sick and how can I avoid getting what they have?: Ecosystems, climate change and me” brings a novel approach to teaching ecosystem biology and disease in two ways: 1) it emphasizes the connections between disease and ecosystems/ecology concepts and, 2) it highlights the role of human impacts on ecosystems using the spread of disease as a contextualizing example. In this talk, I present the framing of the curriculum unit and highlight case studies of student learning documented through the development and revision of ecosystem models, and a final capstone project.