Curriculum

DREAMS develops and adapts instructional modules (sequences of lesson plans) with content and hands-on experiences that are relevant to students' lives, keeping them engaged in science learning now and in the future. The interdisciplinary modules encourage students to develop their writing and math skills and helps students make content connections between disciplines.

DREAMS follows the mission of DESTINY: To promote equity of access to quality science learning opportunities in order to increase interest, ensure understanding and demonstrate the relevance of science to all students' lives. Through the creation and delivery of innovative approaches, DESTINY seeks to empower teachers, schools and communities to transform science learning environments.

Preview DREAMS Modules

DREAMS curriculum modules align with North Carolina Essential Standards. Teachers who participate in DREAMS workshops receive curriculum guides that include lesson plans, worksheets and other resources.

Code Red (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

Students learn about the composition and physiology of blood through a series of hands-on activities. By analyzing the components of a scab, students identify the substances comprising human blood. They analyze the genetic and cellular basis of blood types, and they see the real-life importance of blood types during transfusions. A final lab experience lets students test simulated blood samples to determine safe transfusions.

Critical Period (Download the PDF, 7MB, from the Morehead website)

Students explore the dangerous effects of alcohol on embryonic development and the nervous system. In this curriculum, students follow two narratives: A pregnant woman considers how alcohol and other factors can affect her unborn child, and a newspaper reporter researches a local drunk-driving accident and the effects of alcohol on the brain. In each narrative, students learn the science of development and the nervous system by considering the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Genes in a Bottle

Students extract DNA from their own cheek cells using a simple laboratory procedure and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands. The DNA strands can be collected and transferred into a vial or necklace.

So Fresh, So Clean (Download the PDF, 4MB, from the Morehead website)

This module offers students a chance to consider and compare the prices of bottled water and tap water. By investigating the causes of any price disparity, students begin to consider water chemistry and purity. As they build their own pH scales, students see the connections between water, acid/base chemistry and their daily lives. A final lab experience offers students a chance to simulate part of the water treatment process by monitoring and altering the pH of a sample of water.

What's Snot To Like? Exploring the Respiratory and Immune Systems Through Mucus (Download the PDF, 4MB, from the Morehead website)

Studnets learn about the effects of mucus in our respiratory system, the physical properties of mucus and how it lubricates the gastrointestinal tract, and how respiratory mucus is moved in and out of the lungs to dispose of trapped particles. A discussion and modeling activity for cystic fibrosis is included. The lab experience included with this module is the ELISA immunology testing process.

Looking for ideas for middle school classrooms?
Here are 12 activities that enable middle school students to learn about genetics and to have fun at the same time! Using such items as beads and balloons, students learn about DNA, cells, inheritance, genetics traits and other important topics. This hand-out also includes a low-cost protocol for extracting DNA from a strawberry.