Sophomore / STEAM /

How have diseases changed your view of life and death? In this course, you will explore diseases of the body, mind and society. Through the study of anatomy, neuroscience and epidemiology, you will learn how our bodies react to trauma and outside influence. Among several math concepts, you will explore a critically important number, R-naught, and how it can be used to predict epidemics. Disease is an intensely reflective, personal, and foundational course for professions in the healing arts.

Course Units

  • How does disease disorder the systems of our bodies?

    Unit 1 (“Body”) will focus on Anatomy: you will investigate the different systems that constitute the body, explore different types of diseases, and how they manifest themselves as a disorder in the organism. To start the unit, you will be challenged to put yourself in the shoes of a cancer patient and question what is this thing we call “disease”. Then, you will select another disease to explore, by researching its history and by interviewing someone who has or had it. As an Action Project, you will map the impacts of the studied disease in the human body.

    Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

    • What does cancer teach us about our bodies?
    • What do the major diseases from MDG #6 teach us about our bodies? [HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Measles, Polio, Hepatitis…]
    • How do we map the impact of diseases in our body systems?
  • How are our minds challenged by disorders?

    Unit 2 (“Mind”) will by all about Neuroscience: you will explore how the brain works, trying to understand the neuron and the neurotransmitters. To start the unit, you will be challenged to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has a close relative with autism, and question the nature of this mental condition; then, you will select a mental disorder to explore, by researching its history and by interviewing with someone who has/had it, or a relative of someone who has/had it; as an Action Project, you will map the impacts of the studied disorder in the human brain.

    Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

    • What does autism teach us about our minds?
    • What do the most common mental disorders teach us about our minds?
    • How do we map the impact of mental disorders in our minds & our lives?
  • How does a disease see the world as an opportunity?

    Unit 3 (“World”) will explore the science of Epidemiology: you will investigate how diseases spread and may cause an epidemics. To start the unit, you will be challenged to put yourself in the shoes of a resident of a city who was just alerted about an imminent outbreak of a deadly virus, and question the concept of epidemics; then, you will explore an outbreak of a bodily disease or mental disorder, by researching its history and by interviewing a specialist in medicine or disease control; as an Action Project, you will map the impacts of the epidemics in the world.

    Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

    • What does the plague teach us about our world?
    • What do the latest pandemics teach us about our world?
    • How do we map the impact of epidemics in our world?