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Lesson Plans


Civics and Science Lesson Plans

We asked six fantastic teachers to listen to the podcast and come together to create powerful civics and science lesson plans geared towards high school students. Many of these plans meet state and national teaching standards as noted in each lesson. We're thrilled to share them with you here.

Educators Brave New Planet

Episode 2:  Deep Fakes and the Future of Truth 

Through these civics lessons, students will learn how to define deepfakes and will debate whether governmental oversight is a necessity or an overreach. The science lessons will help students better identify deepfakes, begin to understand generative adversarial networks, explore scientific ethics, and draw parallels to deceptions in nature.

Content Warning: The Deepfake Episode contains content and references to adult-themed media in Chapter 5, and lesson plans may reference this topic as well. Teachers should use discretion and guidance from parents and administrators before using this material.

Episode 2: Lesson plans

Episode 3: A Radical Approach to Climate Change 

This collection of civics lessons addresses how public policy impacts social change, examines the economic, military and social impacts of climate change, and gives students the opportunity to learn about current advocacy efforts and develop their personal stance. Through the science lessons, students will be introduced to climate change and systems thinking, perform a volcano experiment to better understand climate intervention technology, and begin to form their own opinions on interventions.

Episode 3: Lesson plans

Episode 4: Killer Robots and the Future of War

These civics lessons will define autonomous weapons and explore their impact on history, help students understand how autonomous weapon use could go wrong or be helpful, and spark debate on the use or ban of such weapons. Through the science lessons, students will learn about a variety of uses for robots for good or bad, discuss a case study on the implications of self-driving cars, and use their imagination to create nature hybrids to solve problems.

Episode 4: Lesson plans

Episode 5: What Algorithms Say About You

This collection of civics lessons addresses the ethics of using predictive algorithms in determining punishment and incarceration, how bias can affect the results of risk assessment algorithms, and whether predictive algorithms violate due process. The science lessons will introduce algorithms and machine learning and explore the social implications of algorithmic bias and whether it’s possible to make algorithms fair.

Episode 5: Lesson plans

Episode 6: Reshaping Nature Through Gene Drives

These civics lessons explore governmental responsibility and community consent when science moves from laboratory into society, students’ and community power to petition and drive debate, and the larger ethical questions surrounding the manipulation of genes in living organisms. Through the science lessons, students will take deep dives into understanding CRISPR and gene drives, and then apply that knowledge to take a stance on the specific use of gene drive to prevent the spread of malaria.

Episode 6: Lesson plans