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NLM Launches an Afterschool Curriculum for Middle Schoolers, Targeting the Environment-Health Connection

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the release of a new educational resource, an afterschool science club curriculum for middle school students, entitled Discovering the Connection: Your Environment, Your Health (// 

Lessons and activities of the curriculum combine research on the Tox Town Web site ( with hands-on experiments and communication and social action activities. The objective is to introduce middle school students to environmental health issues in their everyday life, emphasizing the relevance of science to informed citizenship.

The curriculum was developed as collaboration between NLM, University of Maryland College of Education, and an inter-disciplinary group of middle school teachers. It is based on National Science Education Standards and is grounded in problem-based learning approach that promotes in-depth understanding and critical thinking.

The curriculum sequence contains six units that each introduce one environmental health topic and include three to four 50-60 minute lessons. The units are: 1) Water Quality, 2) Air Quality, 3) Chemicals in Your Home, 4) Food Safety, 5) Runoff, Impervious Surfaces, and Smart Development, and 6) The Great Debate: Bottled Water vs. Tap Water in Our School.

While the curriculum is for an afterschool club, its lessons can also be used to support the existing middle school science curriculum, as well as to reinforce the science/society connection in the social science or language arts classroom.

To stay up to date with all NLM's K-12 resources subscribe to the K12NLMRESOURCES listserv.