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BSCS Science Learning Releases 3-D Middle School Life Science Curriculum Program: A Medical Mystery

August 12, 2019

BSCS Science Learning has released a new 3-D curriculum program to support middle school educators who are navigating next generation science. The program—A Medical Mystery—was developed in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and includes a free Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned body systems curriculum unit and teacher’s guide, along with an affordable online professional learning course.

Students using this program are immersed in an online environment that challenges them to solve the medical mystery: “What’s Wrong with M’Kenna?” Over the course of several lessons, students engage with a series of interactive experiences, simulations, and animations to investigate how and why M’Kenna is constantly sick. Students leverage inquiry-based practices of scientists to construct their own understanding of complex phenomena. They ultimately solve the medical mystery and explain all M’Kenna’s symptoms based on how body systems interact.

“After conducting field tests with approximately thirty teachers nationwide, receiving a successful E/I EQuIP rating, and making final revisions on the curriculum unit, BSCS is eager to introduce A Medical Mystery,” said BSCS Director of Research Dr. Sue Kowalski. “We worked closely with OPB to create a unique curriculum unit–one that is media-rich, backed by rigorous research, and freely available. With the digital teacher support materials and affordable online professional learning course, middle school life science teachers across the United States will have everything they need to help their students meet the challenges of the NGSS.”

A Medical Mystery is specifically designed for a student-driven, inquiry-based classroom where students can develop and use models to describe the phenomena and also conduct investigations to produce data for evidence,” said Iwona Jadamiec, a NJ-based 7th grade life science teacher and field-test participant. “I really like that the curriculum allows students to practice the construction of CERs (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) one step at a time. This is an important skill that goes beyond the classroom, and students have the ability to practice and perfect it with this unit. The unit also encourages student communication and collaboration in groups as they share ideas with each other and develop an understanding for the material.”

BSCS will host online professional learning institutes to support teachers with effective instruction of A Medical Mystery beginning in summer 2020.

A Medical Mystery is freely available here. Feel free to give this link directly to your students.

This program was funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1502571 .