All resources in New Hampshire STEM Educators, Y1

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6

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In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Christopher Valenti, Denise Carlson, Katherine Beggs, Malinda Schaefer Zarske

The History of Vaccines

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Created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The History of Vaccines website is designed "to provide a living, changing chronicle of the compelling history of vaccination, from pre-Jennerian variolation practices, to the defeat of polio in the Western Hemisphere." It is truly a remarkable website, and along with learning about variolation practices, visitors can look through interactive timelines, watch video profiles of scholars who work on vaccination techniques, and also read articles on the future of immunization. On the homepage, visitors can take short quizzes, read recent posts from their blog, and explore their gallery of images. The "Articles" area contains pieces such as "Top 20 Questions about Vaccination" and other works designed to be used in the classroom. The site also contains a glossary of terms and a place to sign up for email updates.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Student Guide

The SIR Model for Spread of Disease

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Created by Lang Moore and David Smith for the Connected Curriculum Project, the purpose of this module is to develop the SIR Model for the spread of an infectious disease, including the concepts of contact number and herd immunity; to develop a version of Euler's Method for solving a system of differential equations. This is one lesson within a larger set of learning modules hosted by Duke University.

Material Type: Data Set, Interactive

Authors: Moore, Lang, Smith, David

Curb the Epidemic!

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Using a website simulation tool, students build on their understanding of random processes on networks to interact with the graph of a social network of individuals and simulate the spread of a disease. They decide which two individuals on the network are the best to vaccinate in an attempt to minimize the number of people infected and "curb the epidemic." Since the results are random, they run multiple simulations and compute the average number of infected individuals before analyzing the results and assessing the effectiveness of their vaccination strategies.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Debbie Jenkinson, Garrett Jenkinson, John Goutsias, Susan Frennesson

Influenza, an Ever-Evolving Target for Vaccine Development

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It's that time of year again. Coughing coworkers, student absences, and reminders to get your shot are sure signs that flu season is upon us. This year's epidemic seems to have struck earlier and harder than usual all amid concerns over shortages of the flu vaccine. While some vaccines provide lifelong protection with one or a few doses (e.g., measles, mumps, and polio), the flu requires a new shot every year. And in some years, the flu shot is hardly effective at all. Why is the flu vaccine different from so many other vaccines? A look at the evolution of the flu virus can explain the weaknesses of current vaccines and points the way towards a vaccine that could provide long-lasting, universal protection.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Reading