Disease and Vaccination
Five lessons in Unit 2, Disease and Vaccination, examine the different ways the immune system protects the body from pathogens. In the first lesson, scholars develop an understanding of how the immune system and pathogens react to each other and why the pathogen sometimes wins. Next, learners research different types of vaccines—the development process, and their advantages and disadvantages. Groups explore how viruses may end up with genetic variations that explain how some forms of the flu are more deadly than others. Learners also study how the life cycle of HIV differs from that of influenza. Moving on, groups use various resources to research the history of vaccines, the science involved in the vaccine research, how scientists build upon each other's research and consider ethical questions around the development of vaccines. Small groups also research topics related to vaccine safety. In the process, team members learn how to determine the validity and credibility of a website. The unit ends with a debate of whether vaccines are a benefit to society.