Classroom Materials from NESCent

Influenza Virus: A tiny moving target

Level: High School

Time: 2-3 50 minute periods

Overview: The potential of a new flu pandemic is a frightening idea. This curriculum explains how influenza viruses infect cells and replicate. It also has students explore where influenza viruses come from, how viruses change, and why some become deadly.

Click here to view "The influenza virus life cycle", an interactive presentation.

Re-wilding North America

Level: High School, Introductory College Biology

Time: Two to three 45 minute class periods

Overview: A class discussion on various aspects of re-wilding: the concept of reintroducing large vertebrates, such as elephants and lions, that became extinct in North America at the end of the Pleistocene.  A key concept in ecology is that organisms evolve within a particular environment.  The pathway of evolution is influenced by interactions among organisms, the landscape, and the weather.  Changes in any of these areas can impact evolutionary pathways, disturbing balances and creating new selective pressures.  Can the environment present at the end of the Pleistocene be re-established?  Should it?  This lesson should have wide spread appeal as topics include ecology, evolution, conservation, Weconomics, aesthetics, and ethics.

Joe Fail's "No Holds Barred Evolution for Elementary School Students"

Dr. Fail's sabbatical project at NESCent is the development of a comprehensive curriculum in evolution targeted at 4th grade students.  A powerpoint presentation provides an overview of the curriculum. Dr. Fail will be offering a summer workshop for teachers through the North Carolina School for Science and Math on "Teaching an Elementary Story of Life: The Web of Biology, Ecology, and Evolution".


Evolution and the Immune System

This set of materials includes a review and case study with instructor's notes on the evolution of the immune system. Dr. Jory Weintraub desgned this module for the 2007 NABT CD. 

Identifying Biocontrol Agents Through Applied Systematics

This exercise presents an invasive species problem in which scientists are using applied evolution to develop a solution.  Instructors will find a case study, bioinformatics tools, and files to take students an exploration of the systematics of bud gall flies and their hosts.