This lesson has been updated with suggested adaptations for remote learning.
In this seven-lesson unit, students develop an understanding of molecular biology through an exploration of viral and antibody testing used for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Students explore patient case studies to make a diagnosis and further recommendations for their care. Students also learn about and discuss health inequities and bioethical issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unit incorporates opportunities for engaging with productive uncertainty, developing scientific argumentation practices, and considering bioethical implications of scientific discoveries and policy decisions.
This unit includes two wet labs. In the Molecular Testing lesson, students will conduct a wet lab using gel electrophoresis to examine a patient sample to determine if they are positive, negative, or inconclusive for COVID-19 infection. In the Antibody Testing lesson, students will conduct a second wet lab, running an indirect ELISA to see if their patient has had an infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the past.
All lesson plans include suggested adaptations for virtual learning settings, including alternate activities for the two wet labs.
Lessons Plans and Supporting Materials
To access the COVID-19 Testing & Inequities curriculum (lesson plans, student handouts, slide decks), see this webpage from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: COVID-19 Testing and Inequities.