Pilot testing of new unit begins with 7th Graders at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School

How can looking for thrills make me miserable?  This is the question 145 7th-graders at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School are investigating in science class.  Pilot testing began April 12th and curriculum design continues in partnership with science teacher, Adam Cassel. This second unit dives deeper into gene-environment interactions exploring genetics, mutation, natural selection and evolution. Students investigate the brain’s reward system and why this system can lead to addictive behavior. The unit starts with a video with teens’ testimonials about their addiction to vaping (e-cigarettes), a concerning trend among high school and some middle school students. This leads into a discussion about addiction more broadly and how our genetics and the environment affect our risk. Finally, they research, “What can we do to reduce the risk for addictions for ourselves and in our community?”