In March, middle school teachers experienced the new project-based science unit at the annual conference of the Michigan Science Teachers Association in Lansing Michigan. Teachers explored lessons from the new curriculum called, “Why are we the way we are?” which is aligned with the new Michigan Science Standards. Through the curriculum, students engage in “three-dimensional learning” that integrates core ideas in biology about genetics and natural selection with scientific practices and crosscutting concepts. As part of the workshop, teachers practiced developing models of gene-environment interaction to understand how students gain knowledge and explain how healthy eating and exercise can help prevent or reduce the severity of diabetes.
The curriculum will be featured at the upcoming National Science Teachers Association Annual meeting in Nashville in April and the SciEd 2016 Conference in May.