Climate Change and Emerging Infections
Chikungunya the new threat......

Chikungunya virus – endemic in Africa and Asia –  just emerged in the Western hemisphere in December 2013. The Centers for Disease Control issued alerts for holiday travelers to St. Martin and nearby Caribbean islands. The same mosquito species can transmit chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.


We invite grade 7-12 science teachers to pilot 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, malaria and leishmaniasis.  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:

  • FREE 3-day Summer Institute:  July 14-16, 2014
  • FREE science kit and standards-based curriculum mini-units
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody’s Entomology Collection
  • $400 stipend after teaching and assessing mini-units in your classroom
  • One required half-day Saturday refresher workshop in fall 2014
  • Ongoing classroom support from museum educators
  • Free Peabody Museum family membership (with free admission to 280 science museums)
  • FREE bus for one class visit to the Peabody or to CT Agricultural Experiment Station laboratory
  • 26 hours credit toward state-mandated  professional development requirement


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: June 15, 2014). This is a competitive application process.