Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants

Cartoon coronavirus overlayed with a “no” symbol

Cartoon coronavirus overlayed with a “no” symbol (Alina Maksimova, iStockphoto)

STEM in Context

COVID-19 Resources

Let's Talk Science
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Summary

COVID-19 learning resources and suggestions for discussing with students.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a new type of coronavirus. The disease affects the respiratory system in humans. It can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, respiratory distress and even death. The COVID-2019 pandemic began in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. It quickly spread to North America and other parts of the world.

Did you know?

A disease is considered to be pandemic when it spreads across the world and affects a large number of people.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 and what you can do to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, we recommend the Health Canada and World Health Organization websites.

Visit our Biology video channel for some of the latest stories on the fight against COVID-19 and how it is affecting our lives and society. Be sure to check out the Credibility Meter at the bottom of each video. It helps you assess how trustworthy and accurate a news story is.

Here are some Let’s Talk Science resources to help you learn more about viruses and how humans combat them:

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Viruses

Learn about the basics of viruses in this backgrounder.

man sick with flu/Homme avec la grippe
Man sick with the flu

The Surprising Reason You Feel Awful When You’re Sick

Viruses can make you feel awful! This article explains how feeling bad might be your immune system’s way of helping you heal.

Intestines with gut bacteria
Intestine with gut bacteria

Are Microbes Your Friend or Foe?

Microbes, including viruses and bacteria, are everywhere, even in your digestive tract. Some of these microbes are helpful, and some aren’t.

bacteriophage/bactériophage
Bacteriophage

Phages vs. Antibiotics

Many doctors prescribe antibiotics to cure infections. But should they be prescribing viruses instead?

Bottle of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
Bottle of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine

Measles and Measles Prevention

Learn about how scientists discovered and developed a vaccine for another deadly virus, measles.

People with cancer and their caregivers
People with cancer

Why Do So Many People Get Cancer?

Did you know that some viruses cause cancer?

Jennifer Gardy
Jennifer Gardy

Jennifer Gardy

Meet Jennifer Gardy, a senior scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

 

 

 

You can also search our resource database using terms such as viruses, microbiology, or public health, or use our curriculum search to find resources that directly address curriculum outcomes.

Starting Points

Connecting and Relating
  • How has your daily life been affected by COVID-19? What are you not doing that you used to do? What are you doing more of than you used to?
  • Are you worried about you, your family members, or friends getting COVID-19? Why or why not?
  • What are you doing or not doing to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19?
Connecting and Relating
  • How has your daily life been affected by COVID-19? What are you not doing that you used to do? What are you doing more of than you used to?
  • Are you worried about you, your family members, or friends getting COVID-19? Why or why not?
  • What are you doing or not doing to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19?
Relating Science and Technology to Society and the Environment
  • What factors (social, cultural, environmental, etc.) are contributing to the spread and severity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the environment? 
  • How are industries not in the health care sector stepping up to help manufacture health equipment?
Relating Science and Technology to Society and the Environment
  • What factors (social, cultural, environmental, etc.) are contributing to the spread and severity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the environment? 
  • How are industries not in the health care sector stepping up to help manufacture health equipment?
Exploring Concepts
  • What does a coronavirus look like? Check out the Viruses backgrounder for more information.
  • How is COVID-19 spread? What steps can be taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
  • What are the effects of COVID-19 on humans? Who is most at risk from the virus?
Exploring Concepts
  • What does a coronavirus look like? Check out the Viruses backgrounder for more information.
  • How is COVID-19 spread? What steps can be taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
  • What are the effects of COVID-19 on humans? Who is most at risk from the virus?
Nature of Science/Nature of Technology
  • What steps are involved in developing a vaccine and making it widely accessible? How long does this usually take? Check out the Measles and Measles Prevention article for more about vaccines.
  • Why can it take so much time for scientific discoveries like new vaccines to get into doctors’ hands to be used on patients? Do you think that this process should be accelerated for COVID-19, even if there are risks? 
  • Should resources be switched from developing cures for other diseases such as cancer to develop a vaccine for COVID-19? Why or why not?
Nature of Science/Nature of Technology
  • What steps are involved in developing a vaccine and making it widely accessible? How long does this usually take? Check out the Measles and Measles Prevention article for more about vaccines.
  • Why can it take so much time for scientific discoveries like new vaccines to get into doctors’ hands to be used on patients? Do you think that this process should be accelerated for COVID-19, even if there are risks? 
  • Should resources be switched from developing cures for other diseases such as cancer to develop a vaccine for COVID-19? Why or why not?
Media Literacy
  • Do the media have a responsibility to ensure their coverage of infectious disease outbreaks does not create widespread fear and apprehension in the public? Explain.
  • How much news about COVID-19 do you get from traditional news outlets vs. from social media or friends? How do you know which information to trust?
Media Literacy
  • Do the media have a responsibility to ensure their coverage of infectious disease outbreaks does not create widespread fear and apprehension in the public? Explain.
  • How much news about COVID-19 do you get from traditional news outlets vs. from social media or friends? How do you know which information to trust?
Teaching Suggestions
  • Teachers could have students use the Concept Definition Web learning strategy to consolidate their understanding of a key concept, such as pandemics, viruses or vaccines. Ready-to-use Concept Definition Web reproducibles are available in [Google doc] and [PDF] formats. 
  • Using a Consequence Mapping learning strategy, teachers could have students consider the potential consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on our society, economy, and education systems over the next ten years. Download ready-to-use reproducibles using the Consequence Mapping learning strategy in [Google doc] and [PDF].
Teaching Suggestions
  • Teachers could have students use the Concept Definition Web learning strategy to consolidate their understanding of a key concept, such as pandemics, viruses or vaccines. Ready-to-use Concept Definition Web reproducibles are available in [Google doc] and [PDF] formats. 
  • Using a Consequence Mapping learning strategy, teachers could have students consider the potential consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on our society, economy, and education systems over the next ten years. Download ready-to-use reproducibles using the Consequence Mapping learning strategy in [Google doc] and [PDF].

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