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NIH teacher resources feature rare diseases and evolution

Article / Review by on November 2, 2011 – 6:50 pmNo Comments

NIH teacher resources feature rare diseases and evolution

Teachers now have an innovative way to help students approach challenging biology questions with two new free curriculum supplements from the National Institutes of Health: Evolution and Medicine,and Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry. Both supplements inform students about human health, while helping them build their problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Teachers can easily integrate the supplements into their classes’ explorations of complex topics such as the need for yearly flu vaccines, the geographical differences in rates of lactose intolerance, pros and cons of clinical trials for kids with cancer, and reasons why certain people contract rare diseases. These are the latest installments in a popular NIH series aligned with state and national education standards and designed to promote inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning and stimulate student interest in science.

The supplements were developed by leading scientists, educators, and curriculum experts, and combine cutting-edge medical research discoveries with state-of-the-art instructional materials. Each has a self-contained teacher’s guide consisting of five lessons on science and human health and including online virtual labs, videos, and simulations. Educators have requested more than 400,000 supplements in the series from NIH, the federal focal point for medical research.

Evolution and Medicine

Evolution and Medicine, for grades 9–12,helps students use scientific inquiry in the context of medicine to understand evolutionary principles. Students will learn how evolution is part of our knowledge of human health, biomedical processes, and disease treatment. To request Evolution and Medicine, visit http://science.education.nih.gov/q7

“Evolution’s signature is written all over our genomes and is manifested throughout our bodies,” says Irene Eckstrand, Ph.D., an NIH expert on evolution who helped develop the curriculum. “Evolution and Medicine explains the basic principles of evolutionary biology using new and well-researched examples drawn from current medical research.”

Rare Diseases Curriculum Supplement Cover Art | Proof 6, 2/2/2011

Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry, for grades 6–8, helps students explore how scientists research rare diseases and treatments and learn more about the workings of the human body. To request Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry, visit http://science.education.nih.gov/r7

“The curriculum supplement will raise student awareness of rare diseases, including where to go for accurate information,” according to Stephen Groft, Pharm.D., director, Office of Rare Diseases Research, NIH. “We believe that the information provided in Rare Diseases will help eliminate the feeling of isolation and stigmatization felt by many students with rare diseases.”

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, sets policy for NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating NIH programs and activities. The Office of the Director also includes program offices, which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. 

*  The above story is reprinted from materials provided by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
** The National Institutes of Health (NIH) , a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency—making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. The National Institutes of Health is made up of 27 different components called Institutes and Centers. Each has its own specific research agenda. All but three of these components receive their funding directly from Congress, and administrate their own budgets.

More about National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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