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Your Environment. Your Health.

For Scientists


Air

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
EnviroHealth Connections Lessons
These interdisciplinary lesson plans integrate environmental health topics into core content areas at both the middle school and high school level. The lessons are technology rich and effectively integrate media into the instructional process. Topics covered include: air pollution, asthma, environmental justice, food supply, evolution, weather, water, lead, urban development, genetics, obesity, food webs, global warming and cancer. Lessons online through www.thinkport.org
Keywords: air pollution, asthma, environmental justice, health, environmental science, food supply, evolution, weather, water, lead, urban development, genetics, obesity, food webs, global warming, cancer, etc.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, Geography, Civics, Economics, Health & fitness

Air Contamination

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Air Module - Particulate Observation
Students collect, observe and identify common substances in samples of dust taken from students' homes and/or daily environment.
Keywords: Air Contamination - Respiratory Problems
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science

Air Contamination Module
Interdisciplinary module of activities on air contamination and environmental triggers contributing to respiratory problems. Activities can be taught as "stand alone" or as a complete module. Includes case studies and epidemiology issues.
Keywords: Air Contamination - Respiratory Problems
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Alcohol

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Toxicity Testing with California Blackworms: Alcohol(419KB)
Toxicology is a fundamental component of the scientific study of environmental health. This classroom experiment teaches students about the basic concepts of toxicology, including dose-response and exposure, through observing the effects of a toxicant (ethanol) on the behavior of California blackworms. This teacher's guide provides background information, laboratory instructions, discussion questions, and variations and supplemental activities for conducting the experiment.

Bacteria

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Guide to Plating Bacteria Using Sterile Technique - 2001(35KB)
Bacteria are useful in a variety of classroom science experiments. This activity teaches the basic laboratory techniques for growing bacteria in Petri dishes. This guide consists of a teacher version and a student version of the instructions.

Biology

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
BioEd Online
BioEd Online is an online educational resource for educators, students, and parents. BioEd Online utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you instant access to reliable, cutting-edge information and educational tools for biology and related subjects. The goal of BioEd Online is to provide useful, accurate, and current information and materials that build upon and enhance the skills and knowledge of science educators. Developed under the guidance of its expert Editorial Board, BioEd Online offers the following high-quality resources: downloadable lessons and curriculum guides, short courses, streaming video presentations, slide library, and nature science update.

Body

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Organ Systems
Lesson 1: Bodily Defenses;
Lesson 2: Digestion;
Lesson 3: Detoxication;
Lesson 4: Gas Exchange;
Lesson 5: Coordination and Control.
These learning units focus on five main classes of functions that a body must perform. Rather than just naming organs of the body and what they do, we present a perspective on the body as a coordinated group of systems that must do certain things correctly in order to survive and thrive. Each instructional unit includes topics on: "Why Does It Matter" to explain the significance of the facts; "How We Know" to explain how understanding develops; "What We Know" to summarize the main facts; "Story Time" a biographical sketch on famous scientists emphasizing, where possible, their childhood; "Activities" for hands-on learning; "Common Hazards" and their effects on organ system functions; On-line self-study system, Get Smart!, that operates like "flash cards," but also allows the teacher to provide feedback on answers and scores automatically; Internet group work-space "FORUM" for interactions among students, teachers, and consulting scientists.


Brown Lung

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
The Waterfall Ghost
The Waterfall Ghost deals with the 19th-century textile industry and the byssinosis (brown lung) that many workers contracted.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Cancer

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Good Cells Gone Bad - 2001(102KB)
This activity teaches students about the cellular changes that lead to cancer. It provides an overview of the prevalence of cancer, cell structure, and function, and a classroom activity and worksheet that reinforce lessons about cellular structure and the differences between cancer cells and normal cells.

Cells

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Cells Are Us
This "Cells Are Us" module has five instructional units. One is an introduction of the levels of organization in living systems, followed by four other units based on some key aspect of cell function. Rather than discuss cells from the basis of their anatomy (membranes, mitochondria, nucleus, etc.), we thought it more important to emphasize what cells DO and how they do it.

Chagas Disease

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Kiss of the Assassin
The Kiss of the Assassin focuses on pathogens and bacterial infectious diseases (Chagas disease in this case) that can be obtained from insects, like the "kissing bug," that harbor the bacteria and serve as vectors for the disease. Twenty lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Cholera

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Dark Poison
Dark Poison concerns a cholera epidemic in New York in the 1830s. Thirteen lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Community

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Community Action and the Environment - Can You Help Save the Environment?(611KB)
This booklet, with an accompanying video, provides an overview of environmental pollution and ways in which citizens may contribute to the study and alleviation of pollution problems. It provides descriptions of and resources for four assignments that reinforce scientific methods for studying environmental problems. The first assignment encourages students to observe their local environment and think about potential sources of pollution. The second introduces the concept of disease clusters and demonstrates the concepts of probability and statistical distributions. The third assignment encourages group discussion of local environmental issues and requires students to learn about local environmental authorities and utilities. The fourth encourages critical thinking about local and global environmental problems. The booklet also includes a list of recommended printed and Internet resources.

Disease

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Cluster Busters: A Game of Disease Mystery Solving(632KB)
A Game of Disease Mystery Solving Scenario: Dr. Wanda B. Better (Infant Pulmonary Hemorrhage)

Growth and Disease - 2001(123KB)
The spread of diseases continues to be an important public health concern in the United States and abroad. Teaching accurate information about the nature and consequences of the growth and spread of disease is essential for helping students protect their own health and the health of others. This lesson aims to provide such information through four learning activities that address the following subjects: the spread of viruses, antibiotic action and microbial resistance to drugs, the spread and control of parasitic organisms, and the probability of contracting diseases. The teaching materials package includes an overview of the entire lesson and a description of the objectives, performance tasks, class structure, procedures, and evaluation of each activity.

Environment

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Your Environment. Your Health. (NIEHS Pocket Card)(141KB)

Environmental Health Disaster Scenario program
Students learn how complicated public health decision making can be, and how quickly decisions must sometimes be made. The scenarios place the students in roles they might not normally find themselves in--as an environmental expert or public health official, for example. They also give the students a glimpse at potential public health careers beyond the familiar ones such as nursing, medicine, or pharmacy.  Toxic or Not? - Environmental Health Hazards
Environmental Health Hazards This module focuses on our surroundings and the hazards present in everyday life. The environment is defined and broken into components, and the hazards present in our environment are discussed in terms of means of exposure.

Environmental Justice Issues

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +

In this short activity, students view an excerpt from the 1998 film A Civil Action, which is based on the 1996 non-fiction account of a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts. After viewing the film, students assume the role of environmental scientists and apply their knowledge of water and hazardous waste contamination to create a plan to help lawyer, Jan Schlichtmann, try the case. This activity can be used as an assessment piece to determine your students' understanding of the many variables influencing water quality studies, especially when health risks are involved.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, History, Civics, Economics 

Introducing Students to Environmental Justice: A North Carolina Case Study(184KB)
In this activity, students will be introduced to environmental justice by considering a North Carolina case study that involved a hazardous waste landfill and is often credited with launching the national environmental justice movement. This lesson follows the 5E inquiry model, using engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation to promote student learning.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, History, Civics, Economics

Water: Muddle Up and Clean Up(305KB)
In this activity, adapted from the lesson "There Is No Point to This Pollution" in the Water Quality Educators Guide by Healthy Water, Healthy People, students use critical thinking to predict how water becomes polluted. This activity is designed to safely model the ways in which pollutants and hazardous chemicals may react when they reach water and the cumulative effect of land uses on water quality. Common household items (food coloring, vegetable oil and corn syrup) represent pollutants and also hazardous chemicals that are commonly found at hazardous waste sites, including Superfund sites, across the country. By simulating the contamination of water by various kinds of chemicals, students are introduced to current information on hazardous waste sites in North Carolina and the clean up techniques being employed.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, History, Civics, Economics

Environmental Justice Module
Interdisciplinary module of activities on environmental justice. Includes oral histories of those affected by environmental justice issues.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

ENVIROTHON - Cultural Landscapes / Env. Justice
ENVIROTHON Competition - Environmental Health Station with a reading packet provided to students so that they will be prepared to answer competition questions on topics related to environmental health.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, History, Civics, Economics

Epidemiology

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
What Should I Use to Clean My Shower?
Students will learn the essential steps in an epidemiology investigation by studying John Snow's classic investigation of the cholera epidemic in London in 1854.
Keywords: Epidemiology, cholera, illness outbreak
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, History

Investigation of an Outbreak
Students learn the steps in an epidemiology investigation, work in teams, and use real data to investigate an outbreak of gastrenteritis in Southern Oregon.
Keywords: Epidemiology, gastroenteritis, illness outbreak
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Health & fitness

Ethics and Environmental Health

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Environmental Health Ethics Module
Critical thinking activities and case studies involving ethics relating to issues of environmental health.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, Civics, Economics

Exposure

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Lemons and Onions
This entertaining and educational activity gives elementary and middle school students a hands-on lesson in evaluating environmental health problems. In a well controlled activity, students smash lemons and onions to observe what happens when they are exposed to the odors. Then they participate in a demonstration that links together the health problem, the hazard, and the people who are exposed. Afterwards they use the concept of links in a discussion about how scientists reach a conclusion that a hazard is responsible for causing health problems in people.

Food Contamination

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Food Module - Viewing Bacteria
Students compare harmful and helpful bacterial cells and observe the structures within the bacterial cells.
Keywords: Food Contamination and Nutrition
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science

Food Contamination and Nutrition

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Food Contamination and Nutrition Module
Interdisciplinary module of activities on food contamination and nutrition. Activities involve seafood contamination in transport, storage, and handling. Includes issues of nutrition.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Gene-Environment

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +

Hepatitis

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Midnight at the Marble Tomb
Midnight at the Marble Tomb focuses on the health consequences of raw sewage in streets, acupuncture, tattoos, body piercing (of the nose, ears, lips, eyebrows, and belly button), blood transfusions, and organ donations in India. Fourteen lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Household chemicals

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
What makes a Product Hazardous?
Students read product labels noting signal words, hazardous properties, and routes of exposure. They inventory hazardous household products in their homes and identify unsafe storage and use of products, and write a memo to their parents detailing what they found and recommended changes.
Keywords: Household chemicals, risk, routes of exposure, environmental health
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Health & fitness

Illness outbreak

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Mysterious Illness Outbreak Scenario
Students form teams that take on the roles of the professionals on the Hydroville Health Department team involved in determining the cause and control of an outbreak. Students follow the steps of an epidemiology investigation. They collect data, develop a case definition, and form a hypothesis about the cause of the outbreak. They learn data collection and analysis techniques used by such investigators, analyze simulated data, modify their case definition based on this analysis, and present their results in a press release and press conference format.
Keywords: illness outbreak, epidemiology, pesticides, environmental health, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum, problem-based, science careers
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Geography, Health & fitness

Indoor Air Quality

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Indoor Air Quality Scenario
The local school board has received complaints of illness at the newly renovated Hydroville Middle School. Many people believe that this is due to poor indoor air quality. High school students participating in this problem act as a team of environmental consults to determine if there really is an indoor air quality problem in the school. Student teams present their findings at the next school board meeting.
Keywords: indoor air quality, indoor air quality in schools, environmental health, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum, problem-based, science careers
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Geography, Health & fitness

Influenza

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
March Madness
March Madness focuses on the influenza epidemic surrounding World War I. Sixteen lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Lead

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Get the Lead Out: Your Environment, Your Health!(941KB)

Soil Module - Lead Detection
Students learn one method for the detection of lead.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science

Soil Contamination Module
Interdisciplinary module of activities on lead contamination in soil that can be taught as "stand alone" or as a complete module. Environmental Justice and Ethics issues involved.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Microorganisms

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
University of Rochester Summer Science Camp--Microorganisms - 1999(361KB)
A collection of 12 experiments and activities related to microorganisms in plant life, blood cells and skin cells, including an at-home activity. They were developed for use at the University of Rochester's 1999 Summer Science Camp for students in grades 5 through 8.

Mold

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
EnviroMysteries: Breaking the Mold
This video and accompanying extensive online educational resources look at health and air pollution and empower students to take an active role in environmental issues that can affect their health today and in the future.
Keywords: asthma, mold, air pollution, indoor air pollution, respiratory system, mystery, science, environmental health, health
Subjects: Science, Health & fitness

Mold Control
Using four types of cleaning solutions, students analyze which product is most effective for controlling yeast (substitute for mold) and create a dose-response curve to analyze the toxicity of the cleaning product to yeast.
Keywords: Mold, toxicology, dose-response, environmental health
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Health & fitness

Nicotine

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Toxicity Testing with California Blackworms: Nicotine(337KB)
Toxicology is a fundamental component of the scientific study of environmental health. This classroom experiment teaches students about the basic concepts of toxicology, including dose-response, and exposure, through observing the effects of a toxicant (nicotine) on the behavior of California blackworms. This teacher's guide provides background information, laboratory instructions, discussion questions, and variations and supplemental activities for conducting the experiment.

Nuclear

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +

Pesticides

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Pesticide Spill Scenario
Students involved in the Hydroville Pesticide Spill Scenario act as members of the team of scientists and engineers that are sent to the site of a pesticide spill. Their task is to remove the liquid, evaluate the risk posed to the citizens of Hydroville, develop a proposal for complete cleanup of the site, and make a presentation about their proposal to an open meeting of the Hydroville Town Council.
Keywords: pesticides, toxicology, dose response, integrated, environmental health, problem-based, science careers
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, Geography, Health & fitness

Isolation of Naturally Occurring Pesticides:
In this classroom experiment, students learn principles of biology, environmental science, and ecology by observing the effects on fruit flies of naturally occurring pesticides, such as those found in various spices and flowers. This teacher's guide provides background information, a list of necessary materials, preparation instructions, and recommendations for variations on the experiment.

Plants

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Race to Find the Cure: Isolation of Chemicals from Plant Leaves(68KB)
Many important pharmaceuticals and other chemicals are derived from plants. This classroom experiment teaches students about the isolation of plant chemicals using chromatography. Students apply different mixtures of spinach extract, beet leaf extract, and food coloring to strips of filter paper; observe the separation of the components of the mixtures; and extract the isolated components from the filter paper using water. This package of materials includes a teacher's guide, student instructions and notes, and discussion questions and answers.

Poison

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Name That Poison(113KB)
This activity sheet raises awareness and provides information about nine different poisonous substances. Users match substances with their common health effects. Background information about hazardous substances is provided.

Research

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Unsolved Mysteries of Human Health
Take a virtual tour of the labs, get accurate and non-technical explanations of complex research methods and instruments, check in on real-world examples of current research and more!

Risk

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Risk Management and Health Care - 2001(112KB)
An understanding of health care is critical for maintaining one's own health. This lesson aims to identify and investigate health care issues so that students maintain good health.

Risk Management: Health Risks - 2001(96KB)
An understanding of health care is critical for maintaining one's own health. This lesson aims to help students identify and investigate health risks through four learning activities that address the following subjects: common causes of death, evaluation of personal daily health risks, health risks of substance abuse, and stress and mental health. The teaching materials package includes an overview of the entire lesson and a description of the objectives, performance tasks, class structure, procedures, and evaluation of each activity.

Risk Management - 2001(97KB)
The purpose of this lesson is to investigate risk management, in order to prepare students to analyze risks and make informed choices based on their analyses. Using four learning activities, students in grades 9-12 build conceptual understanding, scientific investigation and practical reasoning while developing and using reading, writing, and mathematics.

Smallpox and Bioterrorism

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Three Rivers, Three Nations
Three Rivers, Three Nations takes a look at bioterrorism, focusing on the use of smallpox during the French and Indian War in the 18th Century. Seventeen lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Tobacco

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Tobacco Induced Mutations - 2001(562KB)
Toxicology is a fundamental component of environmental health science. This classroom activity teaches about the basic concepts of toxicology as well as the scientific method and laboratory techniques by observing the mutagenic effects of tobacco on bacteria. Students prepare plates of bacteria and observe the effects on the colonies of the addition of varying concentrations of tobacco extract. The package of materials includes a teacher's guide, student instructions, student and class (pooled) data sheets, and discussion questions.

Chemicals and Human Health Web Site
Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Development Activity: Teacher's Guide and Student Sheet

Toxicology

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Chemicals, The Environment and You: Explorations in Science and Human Health - Students explore the relationship between chemicals in the environment and human health, utilizing basic concepts in the science of toxicology. Developed by teachers, this curriculum includes six hands-on activities that will encourage students to think about chemical exposures, dose-response, and individual susceptibility. 
Toxicology Module
Module of toxicology activities, including basic terminology in toxicology.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies

Toxins

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
ENVIROTHON - Chemicals in the Park
ENVIROTHON Competition - Environmental Heatlh Station with a reading packet provided to students so that they will be prepared to answer competition questions on topics related to environmental health.
Keywords: Toxins in the Park - Lead, Arsenic, and Mercury
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies

Water

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Water's the Matter
This module will focus on five different measurable properties of water. The quality of water is more than just visible observations such as color and odor. Nature (and also man) can cause many changes in a body of water. As a result, a given body of water will have a specific footprint. It will have unique properties when compared to another body of water.
Each unit is divided into six sections: Introduction, Objectives, Pre-Test, Lesson Presentation, Activity, and Post-Test

EnviroMysteries:Water +? = Trouble
This video and accompanying extensive print teacher resources explore how water can become polluted, consequences of and potential remedies for water pollution. Students are engaged in a mystery and learn why it is important to take an active role in environmental issues that can affect their health today and in the future.
Keywords: water, water pollution, cholera, water cycle, water purification, mystery, science, environmental health, health
Subjects: Science, Health & fitness

Water Contamination

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Water Contamination Module
Interdisciplinary module of activities on recreational water contamination that can be taught as "stand alone" or as a complete module. Based on authentic events.
Keywords: Recreational Water Contamination - Microbes
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Water Module - Create a Microbe
Students construct models of microorganisms recognizing size relationships - comparing the size of viruses with the sizes of bacterial cells.
Keywords: Recreational Water Contamination - Microbes
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science

ENVIROTHON - Water in a Changing Climate
ENVIROTHON Competition - Environmental Heatlh Station with a reading packet provided to students so that they will be prepared to answer competition questions on topics related to environmental health.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Mathematics, Science, Social studies

Water Quality

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Water Quality Scenario
The town of Hydroville is experiencing some of the social, political, and environmental problems associated with rapid growth and development. The drinking water report shows that certain pollutants in the water supply have increased significantly.Students teams investigate possible causes of the increase in contaminants in the water supply and develop remediation options that will protect the drinking water from further contamination. Students report their findings to the city council through presentations and to the community through newspaper articles and public service announcements.
Keywords: water quality, drinking water, groundwater pollution, groundwater remediation, environmental health, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum, problem- based, science careers
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Communication, Science, Social studies, Geography, Health & fitness

Tut's Revenge
Tut's Revenge is about water contamination during construction of King Tut's tomb in ancient Egypt.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

Yellow Fever

Grade Level: k - 4 5 - 8 9 - 12 12 +
Texas, 1867
Texas: 1867 deals with the yellow fever epidemic in Texas after the end of the Civil War. Seventeen lessons including activities, handouts, worksheets, and testing materials in science, math, social studies and English/language arts.
Subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, History

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