Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Professional Learning to Support A Medical Mystery

This course is full for the summer and fall of 2021.

Calling all Middle School Science Teachers!

Are you interested in a high quality professional learning (PL) opportunity to support the enactment of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned curricula? Do you know other middle school science teachers who could benefit from an immersive PL experience designed to enhance both teacher and student learning?

BSCS has a fully-online PL course developed to guide teachers through our new body systems curriculum unit: A Medical Mystery. This NGSS-aligned unit immerses students in an online environment that challenges them to use scientific reasoning skills and argumentation to solve, “What’s Wrong with M’Kenna?”

Intrigued? Learn more about A Medical Mystery!

Part 1 of the PL (held in summer) engages teachers in developing an understanding of A Medical Mystery, learning STeLLA® strategies as they are embedded in the unit, and analyzing classroom video of the units in action.

Part 2 of the PL (held in fall) supports teachers as they begin to use the unit with students. Teachers who continue onto Part 2 of the course will film themselves teaching the unit and will engage in video-based analysis-of-practice with their peers.


  • Part 1: June – August, 2021 is a 7-week summer course. Participation each week requires approximately 4 hours of asynchronous work (with mid-week and end-of-week assignments), and 2 hours of synchronous work. Exact meeting schedule will be developed to accommodate the availability and needs of participants.
    • Total hours of participation: 42 hours across 7 weeks
  • Part 2: September – November, 2021 includes 5 2-hour synchronous sessions spread across 10 weeks. Participants teach A Medical Mystery to students, film themselves using the materials with students, and engage in video-based analysis-of-practice to refine their understanding and use of the unit.
    • Total hours of participation: time to teach the unit plus 10 hours across 10 weeks
    • Completion of Part 1 is a prerequisite for registering for Part 2.
  • Location: Online; basic equipment

Why participate?

Throughout this comprehensive institute, you will:

  • become familiar with the Next Generation Science Standards and learn how to successfully enact NGSS-aligned curriculum.
  • enhance your own understanding of body systems content to better support students’ classroom engagement and 3-dimensional learning.
  • develop an understanding of BSCS’s signature STeLLA strategies—which have shown to be highly effective in improving both teacher and student learning.

This resource was developed in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL 1502571. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.