College of Education

Impact on Science Education

PAGES Units in Development

The units listed below are in varying stages of development. In the future, all units below will have links to full draft curriculum. Currently some units only have links to summary documents and conference presentation slides. For an example full draft curriculum, we recommend looking at the How Do Eggs Become Chickens or Other Living Things? unit.

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Elementary School Units

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Tree by sidewalk

Why does the sidewalk change over time?

Status: Piloting

This kindergarten unit addresses life science and earth and space science content areas, including the needs of living things, by answering the question Why does the sidewalk change over time?. Students engage with tree roots breaking through a sidewalk as a phenomenon and will learn how to develop questioning and modeling skills with their students.

Interested in being a pilot teacher?

Contact us to pilot this unit ›
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Mayflies

Why is the sky full of mayflies?

Status: Piloting

This 3rd grade unit addresses life science content areas, including the unique and diverse life cycles of organisms, by answering the question Why is the sky full of mayflies?. Students will engage with the mass emergence of mayflies as a phenomenon and will learn how to develop data analysis and modeling skills.

Interested in being a pilot teacher?

Contact us to pilot this unit ›
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Middle School Units

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Chick on top of eggs

How do eggs become chickens or other living things?

Status: Published

This unit focuses on the role that food, blood, cells, and tissues play in the development of embryos and growth in different animals. Starting off with a series of news reports about the growing prevalence of backyard chicken coops across the country, the unit begins by sparking student questions and ideas for investigations geared toward trying to figure out where babies of chickens come from. Across the unit, students investigate why some chicken eggs hatch while others do not, developing competing models about what goes on inside an egg before it hatches. The investigations students pursue help them figure out answers to their questions and construct explanations regarding how an organism grows and builds new body structures, as well as how the structure of the circulatory system and individual cells support the movement of water, food, and gas molecules needed in these processes.

Standards covered in unit: MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-2, MS-LS1-3, MS-LS4-3 (partial)

Access the curriculum materials ›
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Dog

Why are dogs getting sick?

Status: Public Release Pending (June 2021)

Students investigate a small town mystery: an unknown dog illness is increasing occurrence in a fictional small town. As "veterinary assistants," students try to uncover the source of the problem and find a solution for the community.

This unit exposes students to the local impacts of climate change on populations and ecosystems. Students prepare to make connections at the global climate level through scaffolded activities. Analysis activities start at the local scale and increase in scope, until students uncover the origins of the illness at the global scale. Students then return to the local scale with new knowledge and propose solutions to the fictional town. Throughout, students contribute to the learning progression by asking questions and making observations of the phenomena.

Standards covered in unit: MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4

Unit length: 5-6 weeks

Access the curriculum materials ›
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High School Units

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Comic about sick kid

Why are the kids getting sick and how can we prevent it?

Status: Revising for public release

This unit focuses on the mystery of why an increasing number of kids in New England became sick with what appeared to be arthritis. In the role of medical professionals, students investigate the cause of the mystery sickness. Along the way, they develop ideas related to the factors that affect organism populations and disease prevalence. Then, they take on the role of epidemiologists to create and revise models based on new evidence. Finally, students predict how ecosystem changes, from humans or others, affect the chance of catching the disease.

Standards covered in unit: HS-LS2-1, HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6

Unit length: 6-8 weeks

Access the curriculum materials ›
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Peacock

Why so showy?

Status: Revising for public release

Elaborate male traits (e.g., peacock tails) have long fascinated humans. In this storyline, students form hypotheses and analyze real data to probe fundamental questions concerning evolution. Students play ‘The Communication Game’ and analyze data from the scientific literature to determine whether male traits are associated with different fitness components (i.e., survival, female preference, male competition). Students then consider what happens when the relationship between fitness and male traits varies depending on the environment. The unit also emphasizes graphical representation and interpretation of data.

Standards covered in unit: HS-LS2-8, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-4

Unit length: 2-3 weeks

Access the curriculum materials ›
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Runners

Who wins the race?

Status: Piloting and revisions

In this unit, students examine how genetics and the environment contribute to the success of elite athletes (e.g., Usain Bolt, Simone Biles). Students focus on Eliud Kipchoge, who has run a marathon in less than two hours (average marathon runners take four to five hours). Students ask questions about why Eliud is so fast—does he have excellent training and diet or is he "built" that way? To continue their investigations in an ethical manner, students look at data that use mice as a model organism. Scientists at UC Riverside have bred mice that run on wheels for longer periods of time than "typical" mice. Students use statistics to tease apart the roles of nature and nurture in these controlled experiments.

Standards covered in unit: HS-L3-3, HS-LS1-2, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-3