In Medical Detectives, students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, measure and interpret vital signs, dissect a sheep brain, investigate disease outbreaks, and explore how a breakdown within the human body can lead to dysfunction.
Unit 1 Disease Detectives
Students discover how healthcare professionals act as medical detectives to identify, treat, and prevent illness in their patients. Students collect and interpret vital signs to evaluate patient health, explore different infectious disease agents, and design and conduct experiments to test the effectiveness of antibiotics on bacteria. In the end-of-lesson project, students collect and analyze medical data to diagnose a patient with a mystery illness.
Unit 2 Mysteries of the Human Body
This unit introduces the human body as a collection of body systems, with a focus on the nervous system. Students investigate how the nervous system collects information from the outside world, moves this information through neurons, processes this information in the brain, and initiates the body’s response accordingly. Students create neuron models and perform a sheep brain dissection. They use their knowledge to explore symptoms as they relate to specific nervous system dysfunctions and analyze evidence to identify the cause of the dysfunction. In the end-of-lesson project, students create educational resources to help their patient understand the medical condition.
Unit 3 Outbreak!
A mysterious toxin is endangering the health of a community. Using their understandings of human body systems, students describe how the suspected toxin has impacted the health of the patient. Students analyze patient symptoms and perform lab analyses of patient samples to identify the culprit and determine how it’s spreading. In the end-of-unit problem, students locate the source of the toxin using a map of the community, patient histories, and lab data, then present their findings to help community leaders mitigate the situation.
Unit 4 Murder Mystery
In this problem-based learning unit, students start with limited information about a "murder" that has happened within the school. The critical thinking, collaboration, observation, and problem solving skills students have refined throughout the previous units will be put to the test in this forensics-based unit. Students process a fake crime scene collecting evidence to analyze during class throughout possible activities including: evidence collecting and handling, fingerprinting, handwritting analysis, video surveillance, virtual autopsy simulation, DNA fingerprinting (gel electrophorsis), and possibly more depending on student involvment! Students present all of their findings and evidence at the end of this unit.