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Grant brings real-world science to Boston classrooms
Date:10/23/2009

BOSTON (October 23, 2009) A new curriculum called The Great Diseases will bring real-world biomedical research to students in three Boston high schools. The result of a collaboration between scientists from Tufts University School of Medicine and teachers from the Boston Public Schools, the curriculum presents current threats to global health through laboratory learning, multimedia, and case-based studies. Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the curriculum is designed to increase science literacy and generate enthusiasm for the life sciences among high school students.

The curriculum will be taught to 11th and 12th graders at Madison Park Technical and Vocational High School, Boston Latin School, and Boston Latin Academy. Students will investigate diseases in five modules: infectious disease, cancer, metabolic disease, neurological disease, and cardiovascular disease.

"There is a gap between the way science is taught in our classrooms and the way it is practiced in laboratories around the world. With The Great Diseases curriculum, we aim to teach students how to think like scientists instead of memorizing facts from a book," said principal investigator Karina Meiri, PhD, professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and member of the cell, molecular & developmental biology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts.

"Instead of focusing on disease in older populations, we have selected case-based studies that are pertinent to teenagers, such as H1N1 flu, obesity, and cardiac arrest in elite athletes. The Great Diseases curriculum presents complex global health issues in ways that engage high school students," said Kathleen Bateman, co-principal investigator on the grant and director of the Boston Latin School science department.

Meiri and Bateman have already demonstrated success with developing scientific thinking in high school students; The Great Diseases is
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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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