Transforming science education through research-driven innovation
BSCS Science Learning is seeking teachers to participate in a field trial of an instructional unit for middle school on COVID-19 and Health Equity. The field trial is to be conducted between January 15 and March 15, 2021. The information gathered in the field trial will be used to revise the unit for publication.
The unit focuses on the question How can people help end pandemics? It is designed to teach students about the COVID-19 pandemic, transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and the impacts of the pandemic on communities.
Over the course of the unit, students will study the COVID-19 pandemic in light of historical pandemics to build an understanding of the following key concepts:
The unit also supports the development of two social emotional competencies: self awareness and social awareness.
The unit employs an inquiry-based approach and is designed for 15 class periods of instruction, with optional extensions. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, it is appropriate for use in middle school science, social studies, or health classes.
BSCS Science Learning, the developer of the unit, is conducting a field trial to gather information from teachers and students that will inform revisions to the unit. The trial will be conducted from January through March 2021. Teachers who participate in the field trial will complete surveys that request feedback about individual lessons and the unit as a whole. They will also report on the experiences of their students. Where approval can be obtained to collect information from students, participating teachers will distribute surveys to students and submit copies of student work. All of this data will be analyzed by educational researchers to inform decisions about how to revise the unit. Teachers who participate in the field trial will be paid a stipend to compensate them for their participation in the data collection.
BSCS Science Learning is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming science education through research-driven innovation. An innovator in science education since 1958, BSCS has brought inquiry learning experiences to millions of students and teachers around the world. Today, BSCS conducts research on science teaching and learning and develops instructional materials, teacher professional learning programs, and leadership development programs, all based on research and extensive testing.
The field trial is limited to 30 teachers, and the application and review process is designed to select teachers, school settings, and student populations that are representative of U.S. middle schools today. Preference will be given to teachers in schools where BSCS will be able to collect data from students. Schools and districts that are able to commit to providing the full range of data from 2-3 teachers and their students are encouraged to apply as a school or a district on behalf of those teachers.
The field trial calls for the collection of information from teachers and students. The information that will be collected will be analyzed to provide developers with information that will help them to improve the unit.
Participants will be acknowledged in the published unit for their role in the field trial. Teachers who complete the requirements for teaching and participating in the data collection process will receive a stipend. Stipends range from $300 for classrooms where only the teacher submits data to $500 for classrooms where the teacher supports the collection of the complete suite of student data.
The application process is designed to reflect the three considerations in the selection of participants. BSCS seeks to have a geographic and demographic diversity in the field trial that is representative of the expected audience for the unit. We seek to maximize the number of sites that are able to collect student data. We seek to complete the field trial in a timely fashion. To meet these objectives, the application asks for the following:
Applicants will also be asked to certify that they have obtained permission from the appropriate authority to participate in the field trial.
After initial review of applications for other considerations, BSCS researchers will contact applicants and begin the process of applying for school or district approval to collect data from students. BSCS will accept teachers into the trial on a rolling basis until all places are filled. Once accepted, teachers will be encouraged to begin the trial as soon as possible. Click here to apply.
Preference will be given to schools or districts with 2 or 3 applicants. Applications on behalf of multiple teachers should be submitted by a supervisor or administrator on their behalf using the special application form for that purpose.
Are you a middle school teacher who would like to participate in this field trial?
For more information, please contact Cari F. Herrmann Abell.