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This unit, designed for Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES), helps students to connect economic concepts with human population studies and biomedical engineering to develop deeper understanding of the relationship between wealth and health, termed the Wealth-Health Paradigm. Students engage in various Next Generation Science Standards Scientific and Engineering Practices (NGSS SEPs) to support learning, including asking questions and defining problems, analyzing and interpreting data, obtaining, evaluating and communicating information, and using mathematical and computational thinking. Students spend the bulk of the unit analyzing and interpreting GDP and cause-of-death data from the World Bank, United Nations (UN), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to arrive at an understanding that individuals in poorer regions of the world disproportionately suffer and die from preventable communicable diseases. They use their newly acquired knowledge in the areas of basic economics, human population, and biomedical engineering to make sense of this data and develop lasting meaning for this topic. Successful completion of the unit requires students to use Learning Focused strategies (LFS), such as close reading, jigsaws, and distributive summarization. These increase content mastery and prepare students for the APES exam as well as success in post-secondary education.
(Developed for AP Environmental Science, grades 11-12; recommended for AP Human Geography, grade 9)