Traces of one of history’s most infamous pandemics may linger in our genes. In this Guide, students will learn about a genetic link between the Black Death and a modern-day disease and discuss basic genetics concepts at the individual and population levels.
Students will read and answer questions about the online Science News article “Black Death immunity came at a cost to modern-day health.” A version of the article, “Plague immunity left a lasting mark,” appears in the November 19, 2022 issue of Science News.
Population genetics bridges the basic concepts of genes and inheritance, often studied at the individual level, with the larger concept of how a species evolves. In this discussion, students will review basic genetics concepts and investigate an example of evolution within the human population.
Students will learn how science journalists develop stories from scientific studies by analyzing a Science News article and the study on which it is based. Then, students will use a scientific study provided by the teacher to write their own news article.
Students will think about how communities connect on local and global scales through the lens of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and consider why global collaboration in STEM is crucial for solving some large-scale issues.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Global inequity in COVID-19 vaccination is more than a moral problem,” which explores the scientific and economic impacts of the failure to fairly distribute vaccines globally. A version of the story, “Vaccine inequity will prolong pandemic,” appears in the March 27, 2021 issue of Science News.
- Exercise type:Activity
- Topic:Science & Society
- Category:Research & Design
- Category:Diversity in STEM
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.
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.
Scientists would like to breed cats that don’t trigger allergies in people. By constructing and analyzing a Punnett square for two low-allergen cats, students will review key concepts including patterns and probabilities of inheritance, genotype, phenotype, genes, alleles, chromosomes and mutations.