Climate Change and Insect-Borne Disease Investigations
Chikungunya the new threat......

DEADLINE: May 31, 2015

Each year scientists discover two new mosquito-transmitted viruses worldwide that infect humans.Mosquitoes and pathogens can expand their ranges due to global trade, human travel, and warming climates.  Dengue (“breakbone fever”) cases occur regularly in Florida and Texas.  Chikungunya (“that which contorts”) – a virus endemic in Africa and Asia – first emerged in the Western Hemisphere last winter, spread rapidly through the Caribbean and surfaced in southern states.  The same mosquito species - Aedes aeqypti  and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) - transmit both diseases.


We invite grade 7-12 science educators to teach standards-based STEM curriculum mini-units in the classroom. Yale Peabody Museum and Connecticut teachers designed modular units about climate’s effect on the spread of emerging insect-borne diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya and malaria.  How does an infectious disease establish itself in a new environment?  Does climate change play a role? Could chikungunya be the next major insect-borne disease epidemic in the US?

Lessons address middle and high school life science standards:

  • experimental design
  • structure and function; size and scale
  • microorganisms; immune system and infectious diseases
  • ecosystem change; ecology and population dynamics


Benefits for teachers :   (NOTE Track 1 vs. Track 2 levels of participation)

  • FREE 3-day Summer Institute:  July 8-10, 2015
  • FREE science kit ($200 value) and standards-based curriculum mini-units
  • Peabody Museum family membership with free admission to 280 science museums
  • 26 hours credit toward state-mandated  professional development requirement
  • TRACK 1: $300 stipend after teaching and assessing entire mini-units in your classroom
    • Optional ½ day weekend follow up workshop in Fall 2015
    • Ongoing classroom support from museum educators
    • One FREE class visit to the Peabody and the CT Agricultural Experiment Station mosquito lab
  • OR TRACK 2: $100 stipend after teaching 5 selected lessons and providing on-line feedback


This program is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health. SEPA projects immerse students in science practices; increase science literacy and numeracy; and encourage biomedical careers and partnerships between scientists and educators. Click here to apply (deadline: May 31, 2015).