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COVID-19 goes to college

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “How 5 universities tried to handle COVID-19 on campus,” which explores five universities’ strategies for monitoring and stemming the spread of the coronavirus on campuses. A version of the story, “COVID-19 on campus,” appears in the February 27, 2021 issue of Science News.

Diversity in science

Students will explore diversity in the STEM community and discuss how future textbooks might highlight the scientific contributions of the women who won the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Students also will research and present on the achievements of women in STEM throughout history.
SEM image of SARS-CoV-2

2020 Year in Review

This guide asks students to reflect on the scientific highs and lows of the last year as reported by Science News. Students will analyze summaries of awe-inspiring discoveries and reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, including their lingering questions, personal experiences and hopes for the future.

Pandemic reflection

Students will review a timeline of major events related to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss lingering questions about the pandemic. With a partner, students will reflect on how the pandemic has affected their life and what changes the near future may bring.

How bias affects scientific research

Students will study types of bias in scientific research and in applications of science and engineering, and will identify the effects of bias on research conclusions and on society. Then, students will discuss how biases can be eliminated — or at least recognized and addressed — and develop bias prevention guidelines of their own.

Visual models for how a virus spreads

Students will analyze visual displays of data about clusters of coronavirus cases and work in groups to develop their own visual model of virus spread. Then, students will discuss how the way data are displayed affect data interpretation, and how the displays might inform public health decisions.
Tongue-dwelling bacteria

Where Bacteria Live On Our Tongues

In this guide, students will learn about bacterial communities on the human tongue and use existing knowledge of interspecific interactions to create metaphors about relationships in the students’ own communities. In an activity, students will practice note-taking and summarizing skills.

Taking notes and creating visual summaries

This activity asks students to practice two literacy skills: note-taking and summarizing. Note-taking helps students identify and remember important information, enhancing comprehension as they read. Creating a visual summary encourages students to consolidate and communicate key information.

Ecological relationship status

Students will use their knowledge of interspecific interactions to explore bacterial communities on human tongue cells. Then, students will apply those concepts to create metaphors for relationships in their own community.
Egyptian fruit bat

Why Bat Viruses Are So Dangerous

This guide will help students understand how viruses in other animals can infect people, sometimes leading to epidemics or pandemics. In a group activity, students will imagine they are health officials developing action plans to prevent or stop an epidemic.

Collaborating to stop an epidemic

Students will imagine that they are officers at the World Health Organization and will work in groups to develop action plans to prevent the spread of a new virus, such as coronavirus.

The truth about bats and viruses

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Why bat viruses are so dangerous,” which explores how the animals’ immune defenses might lead to killer human pathogens.