Past Teacher Winners
Teacher Profiles: National Winners
Dr. Jason Rosé
The King’s Academy
Dr. Jason Rosé, who teaches Honors and AP® Chemistry, submitted an eleven-unit, year-long interdisciplinary course, titled “Pestilence and Civilization.” The first unit of this course is an introduction to epidemiological history and methods. In this unit, 50% of class time is devoted to lecture and class discussion. The remaining time is spent analyzing data, working in groups to solve problems, and participating in simulations and exercises that highlight aspects of epidemiology. The course examines eight major infectious diseases of the human population with an emphasis on how epidemiology can help us understand the impact of disease on society. By integrating the biological, historical and sociological aspects of disease, this course illustrates the broad range of epidemiological study and the lessons it can teach us for dealing with modern challenges. Of particular note in this course are units on immunology and HIV/AIDS.
Robert Seiple, the Midwestern Region's National Winner, created “A Ticking Time Bomb: the Emyl, Connecticut, Story,” an inquiry-based simulation based on the actual detection and eventual discovery of the underlying causes of a mysterious, but real, disease. Mr. Seiple teaches Environmental Systems and AP Environmental Science. In this two-week unit, students are presented the case study of a small town that has been impacted by an outbreak of illnesses of unknown origin. Upon completion of the unit, students will understand the causes of the mystery outbreak, its propagation and severity in society, as well as its connection with man's modification of the environment. Students will learn the vital role that medical epidemiologists, pathologists, public health workers, and field biologists perform in society. This is accomplished through a series of written communiqués to an unseen supervisor, and culminates in a written summary and management plan of the outbreak. Students will exercise their skills of questioning and developing explanations, will find and evaluate evidence, exercise critical thinking, and apply the scientific method to a real world problem.
Kim S. Ables and John Mahoney
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
Kim S. Ables and John Mahoney are the National Winners from the Middle States Region. Ms. Ables teaches Biology I, AP Biology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. Mr. Mahoney teaches AP Statistics, Pre-Calculus, and International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Mathematics. This team created an interdisciplinary curriculum that uses epidemiology to link statistics and biology. Students act as epidemiologists to assess the occurrence of disease and other public health issues, and then apply basic principles of statistics to synthesize, analyze, and report their findings. Students will learn the importance and application of statistics to epidemiology and will experience firsthand the important relationship that exists between math and science in the analysis of and solutions to a variety of epidemics that plague communities. Banneker's substantial student community service requirement in neighborhoods that are rife with social, economic, and health issues, such as HIV/AIDS; violence; poverty; drug abuse, asthma; and obesity, provides the source of data for a final student project.
Teacher Profiles: Regional Winners
Annette S. Holmstrom, a Regional Winner from the Western Region, teaches Intro- and Advanced Psychology. Ms. Holmstrom submitted an intriguing, four-unit curriculum titled “Epidemiology in Action,” which will assist students in their understanding of complex issues. She outlines activities that will provide students an opportunity to explain, interpret, and apply new knowledge and skills. For example, with emphasis on web-based research, students solve a plague puzzle, design a disease museum, and plan and present a public information campaign. In all lessons and activities, the resources, examples, and websites deftly target teenagers' interests.
Mark Gottfried and Barbara Rothstein are Regional Winners from the Southern Region. Dr. Gottfried teaches Honors Biology and AP Biology and Dr. Rothstein teaches Research. Gottfried's and Rothstein's module, “Contagion: The Spread of Disease,” explores epidemiological research by suggesting a variety of exercises that track the course of HIV transmission, follow the spread of flu among friends, or place students in the midst of a cholera epidemic. Incorporating internationally famous guest speakers via DVD, this dynamic unit investigates historical events and gathers data from case studies of epidemics. Two exciting activities are “Which Well?” and “Throw of the Dice.” Cognizant that epidemiology can be a useful tool to integrate history, English, health, and math, Gottfried and Rothstein aim to show students that important connection.
Stephanie Thompson, a teacher of AP Biology, General Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology at the Institute of Notre Dame High School in Baltimore, MD, is a Middle States Regional Winner. Ms. Thompson's “Introduction to Epidemiology” is a 12-week course in epidemiology that is designed to introduce students to the process of scientific inquiry and to encourage them to question and analyze the world around them. Using visuals and hands-on activities, students participate in a “Public Health Scavenger Hunt” and design a study of skin cancer within a school population. Because this curriculum will lead students to investigate ways in which science affects and shapes society, it is intended to help students transfer concepts of epidemiology to other disciplines as well.