The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of the complex global civic challenge that SENCER approaches were developed to address. The foundational idea was that by using a real-world problem as a context for teaching the STEM disciplinary content, students’ learning would be more durable, meaningful, and transferable to their actual lives as civic agents in their communities. The very first SENCER Model was a transformed biology course for non-majors, Biomedical Issues of HIV-AIDS, taught by Dr. Monica Devanas at Rutgers University. http://ncsce.net/biomedical-issues-of-hivaids/
Since 2001, many SENCER Models have used real cases of infectious disease as the context for teaching basic biology, chemistry, and mathematics while also demonstrating the range of other domains of knowledge that must be invoked to better understand a complex phenomenon like human health. Below is a list of Model courses in various disciplines that address a range of examples, including HIV-AIDs, Ebola, Influenza, Malaria, Tuberculosis, etc.
We hope you will revisit some of these courses for ideas, examples, and strategies that use case studies of disease spread and transmission your teaching as we all work together to better understand how to address this global crisis.