High School: Marathon Runner: Unit 1 in Biology
About New Visions for Public Schools
For nearly three decades, New Visions for Public Schools has been a driving force for improvement to New York City’s public education system. Founded in 1989, our mission is to ensure that all New York City public school students, regardless of race or economic class, have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the rigors of college and the workforce. New Visions developed the course map for a High School Biology course designed to NGSS, and this first unit of the course, in partnership with New York City public school teachers and scientists from Rockefeller University and NYU.
Rating: Example of High Quality NGSS Design if Improved
Science Discipline: Life Science
Year Reviewed: 2019
Why would a marathon runner become disoriented during the race, then go into a coma shortly after running the race? How does the human body maintain dynamic equilibrium and respond to internal and external changes in its environment?
Humans are complex organisms that maintain a narrow set of stable internal conditions through a system of feedback and communication mechanisms among multiple organ systems. In this unit, students are presented with the story of a woman who collapsed after successfully completing a marathon. In order to figure out what happened to her, they plan and conduct investigations related to how body systems interact to effectively monitor and respond to both internal and external environmental changes. Students develop and use models to illustrate processes that occur in the human body in order to maintain homeostasis, including gas exchange, glucose regulation, thermoregulation, and maintaining water balance. They use their final model to write an explanation for what happened to the marathon runner.