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“All Sorts of People”

This historical case study is based upon events surrounding the deadly 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston. It recounts the story of Cotton Mather, hi ...


En Garde! Animal Structures and What They Mean

In most animals, the drive to breed and produce offspring is strong. However, most males live their whole lives without having the chance to breed. ...


A Botched Botox Party in the Hamptons

This flipped case study explores how the topics of membrane structure, transport, and signaling via membrane-bound receptors are intimately associa ...


A Case in Point: From Active Learning to the Job Market

This case was developed for use in the first weeks of a course in order to show students how participating in active learning exercises in their cl ...


A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice

This discussion case explores the scientific process involved in implementing an animal model in the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Students r ...


A Cool Glass of Water

Does an ice cube melt more quickly in salt water or in freshwater? The answer surprises the group of student science teachers portrayed in this cas ...


A Genetic Defense for Murder?

This case study presents the mock trial of "Martin Miller." There is no question that Martin killed his girlfriend; he admitted to stabbing her in ...


A Green Light for CFLs?

In this problem-based learning case, three housemates in an environmentally-themed college house debate the pros and cons of compact fluorescent la ...


A Light on Physics

This case study presents students with the challenge of working together in teams to win a photography contest. Some team members believe in apertu ...


A Need for Needles - Acupuncture

In this case study, students evaluate information about the use of acupuncture and consider the possibilities of alternative therapies while at the ...


A Rainbow of Sepia

This flipped case study examines the selective pressures that have affected the evolution of diverse human skin pigmentations. To prepare for the c ...


A Recipe for Invention

In this case study, designed to help break down stereotypes about scientists and engineers, students research the personal and professional lives o ...


A Rush to Judgment?

This case describes a study conducted by students in which a number of ethical issues arise, including the treatment of research participants and t ...


A Simple Plan

This case study introduces students to Dr. E.L. Trudeau, who performed a seminal early experiment validating the germ theory of infection. Part I i ...


A Word to the Wise

Freshmen frequently struggle with major decisions both inside and outside of school. Even if they have required advisement sessions, they do n ...


AIDS and the Duesberg Phenomenon

Renowned virologist and member of the prestigious National Academy of Science, Peter Duesberg has argued that AIDS is not caused by HIV, but is the ...


Aisles of Confusion

In addition to traditional nutrition facts and ingredients, current food packaging frequently includes a wide variety of additional labels includin ...


An End to Ulcers?

This “clicker case” teaches students about the scientific method by following the story of the discovery of the cause of human gastric ...


And Now What, Ms. Ranger?

Intelligent Design continues to be a hot political and educational topic in some parts of the country. This discussion case study uses the dramatic ...


Animals on Treadmills

This group-based, interrupted case study challenges students' perceptions of "useful" scientific research. We present student groups with the metho ...


Anthrax Attack!

This case study presents a fictitious bio-terrorist plan to release anthrax in the United States. Students are assigned character roles and, throug ...


Antibiotic Resistance

Resistance to antibiotics arose very shortly after these "wonder drugs" were first introduced.  This case study examines resistance to the mos ...


Antibiotic Resistance in a Russian Prison

In this case study, students will have the opportunity to model the spread of tuberculosis and development of antibiotic resistance in a hypothetic ...


Apple and Linguine

This flipped case study is suited for general education undergraduate level biology. Students prepare ahead of time for class by viewing a video cr ...


Applying High-Throughput Analysis to Biofilms

This case study describes a hypothetical scenario in which a dental practice is contaminated from an unknown source resulting in multiple patients ...


Are Vaccines and Autism Linked?

This case study was written to reinforce the understanding that a successful hypothesis accounts for all relevant observations and is falsifiable t ...


Avogadro Goes to Court

This case study was inspired by a successful lawsuit brought by students against a professor at Pace University who had assigned them the task of c ...


Bad Blood

The ethics of human experimentation are explored in this case about the infamous syphilis studies performed at the Tuskegee Institute from the 1930 ...


Blood Suckers! A Case Study on Evolution and Speciation

This directed case study in PowerPoint format focuses on the London Underground Mosquito, Culex molestus, and its potential relationship t ...


Breaking Bad: Real Science or Hollywood Science?

This two-part case study with a laboratory component uses a pop-cultural reference to engage students and takes the study of electrochemistry from ...


Butterflies in the Stomach

Why is the North American population of monarch butterflies declining? In 1999, a study published in the journal Nature suggested that a v ...


Buzz Off!

This case study was written to teach students about malaria, an infectious disease transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquitoes that thr ...


Caught Red-Handed

Was the "Brooklyn Butcher" of 1926 a cold-blooded killer or was something less sinister at play? This interrupted case study introduces students to ...


Cauldron of Democracy

This case study explores the controversy surrounding Yellowstone bison (Bison bison) and the relationship between wildlife management and ...


Cell Phone Use and Cancer

In this case study, students analyze a scientific study, first by analyzing news articles reporting on the research and then by reading the origina ...


Childbed Fever

This case describes the pioneering work of Ignaz Semmelweis and his efforts to remedy the problem of childbed fever in mid-19th century Europe.&nbs ...


Cloning Man's Best Friend

The Cleaver family of television fame faces a dilemma—whether or not to clone their recently deceased dog Spot. Written for a high school int ...


Cooling Off a Warming Planet

This role-playing case on climate change policy is designed to engage student groups in parallel discussions on policy instruments and packages for ...


Coping with Infection

This interrupted case study introduces two distinct, but not mutually exclusive, strategies for defending against parasites: resistance and toleran ...


Coronavirus Quandaries for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

This directed case study tells the story of “Arie,” an anatomy and physiology student who has recently switched to distance learning du ...


Could Grazing Be Dangerous? Ask the Cows!

This case study introduces important issues related to invasive species and noxious weeds that have particular ecological and agricultural importan ...


Counting Keratinocytes

This case study was developed for teaching metric length measurement in a non-majors biology laboratory setting. The case is suitable for lower-lev ...


Crazy About Cryptids! An Ecological Hunt for Nessie and Other Legendary Creatures

Who wouldn't want to go in search of a creature like Bigfoot, Yeti, or the Loch Ness Monster?  Using the science of ecology, students do exact ...


Dead Fish in Bear Pond

This interrupted case study introduces students to the complexity of understanding natural variation in ecosystems through time in the absence of l ...


Dengue in the Landscape

This interrupted case engages students in issues contributing to the increase of dengue fever in Jamaica. The overall goal of the case is to make c ...


Disease Along the River: A Case Study and Cholera Outbreak Game

This case study centers on an active teaching game that simulates a cholera outbreak among five villages along a river, similar to the Haitian outb ...


Do Grasshoppers Sweat?

There are many adaptive and evolutionary behaviors displayed in an organism's use of water. Although students generally have a superficial understa ...


Double Black Diamond Slopes

This case study tells the story of a 14-year-old boy, "Danny," who wants to go on a snowboarding adventure with his friends, but is unable to provi ...


Equal Time for Intelligent Design?

Whether Intelligent Design should be taught in a science classroom is a serious problem. This case study tackles the issue head-on by using intimat ...


Everyone Knows Girls Are Bad at Math, Right?!

This case study explores the biology and culture of sex and gender, and focuses on the science and pseudoscience that surrounds this topic, especia ...


Evolution and Plasticity in Guppies

This case study focuses on the relationship between evolution and plasticity using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach. Students view examples from ...


Exotics

This case examines the biological, ecological, social, political, and economic factors surrounding exotic species as well as the role of resource m ...


Extrasensory Perception: Pseudoscience?

The overall purpose of this case study is to teach students to be skeptical of scientific claims, particularly those that are sensational and fall ...


Failing to See the Forest for the Trees in Lyme Disease

This clicker case study is based on the true story of Ella Buss, a young girl infected with the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causa ...


Farming in Space

If you were limited to choosing only three crops to sustainably farm in an arid, inhospitable environment, what would they be and how would you dec ...


Fatally Flawed?

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, was first detected in China in late 2019 and rapidly spread thro ...


Fear!

In this PowerPoint-driven case study, students compare and contrast poliovirus and its effects with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Before the class meeting, ...


Fecal Coliforms in Antarctica

In this interrupted case study, students explore the environmental consequences of Antarctic research as they design experiments to assess the impa ...


Feeling Detoxified

This case study uses the example of ionic foot baths to examine how placebo treatments can affect our health and wellness. Inspired by a student&rs ...


Fishing Midst the Morning Dew

In this case study, “Tatiana,” a college student, introduces psychrometry to her younger brother as she explains the physical phenomeno ...


Fooled by What We See

Most students have witnessed the refraction of light when viewing a partially submerged object—a spoon in a glass of water appears to bend&md ...


From Twiggy to Tubby

This case study explores the topics of diffusion, osmosis, membrane transport, and the physiological significance of glucose and insulin in the hum ...


Gastronomic Gastroenteritis at The Fat Duck

This interrupted case study was inspired by and uses data from one of the largest commercial restaurant associated outbreaks of norovirus reported ...


Global Climate Change: What Does it Look Like?

In this interrupted case study, Ph.D.-paleoclimatologist-turned-TV-meteorologist Sara Fahrenheit finds herself projected into a future climate that ...


Going for Gold

This case study introduces students to the true story of Caster Semenya, an outstanding female mid-distance runner from South Africa.  Caster ...


Helicobacter pylori and the Bacterial Theory of Ulcers

This case is an account of the events that led Drs. Robin Warren and Barry Marshall to the bacterial theory of ulcers. The two physicians refused t ...


History of the Atom

In this clicker case, students are guided through the history of atomic structure, and in the spirit of discovery learning, use data from historica ...


Honeymoon Havoc

In this interrupted case study, students meet a pair of fictional newlyweds on their way to Australia for their honeymoon. Initially eager to enjoy ...


How a Cancer Trial Ended in Betrayal

In this case study, students learn about the complexities and issues associated with clinical trials. After reading a newspaper story about a fraud ...


How Do Scallops Swim?

Scallops are bivalve mollusks that live on the seabed. This way of life makes them susceptible to predation and so they have evolved the ability to ...


How to Make ATP

This case study for the flipped classroom introduces the discovery process used to elucidate how cells make ATP. Data from three seminal primary li ...


How to Remove Makeup

This case study explores how intermolecular forces affect the solubility of substances. The story line presents a scenario in which specialists in ...


Inside the Opioid Crisis

This case study follows the struggles of "James" as he copes with extreme pain resulting from an automobile accident.  Unable to manage his sy ...


Is a Mars Sample Return Mission Too Risky?

Following a public hearing format, this case study allows students to explore the scientific and public policy issues surrounding the advisability ...


Is It a Meteorite?

In this interrupted case study, two friends find unanalyzed mass spectra of a green rock suspected to be a meteorite. Students are tasked with iden ...


Is the Data Dirty or Clean?

This case study challenges students to differentiate between anecdotal evidence and science-based evidence related to human health. The case uses a ...


It’s a Crocodile! No, a Fish! No, a Dolphin!

It is not uncommon to hear creationists argue that evolution is not science because no one saw it happen, or for students to wonder how we can know ...


Killing Chloroplasts

This case study takes place at a fictional biotechnology company developing herbicides against invasive plant species. The case study focuses on fi ...


Knot Your Typical Weed

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive plant that can be very hard to eliminate. This PowerPoint-driven case study briefly d ...


Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself

This case study relates the actual experiences of a woman with breast cancer as she shares her experiences through a series of blog posts at variou ...


Life on Mars

This case explores the question of whether there was ever life on Mars and in doing so explores how we define life. The backdrop for the case is th ...


Life, The Final Frontier

Designed for high school and college-level introductory biology courses, the goal of this "clicker case" is to get students to think about what it ...


Little Girl Lost: A Case Study on Defective Cellular Organelles

This case study introduces students to the structure and function of cellular organelles and seeks to show their importance by discussing diseases ...


Living on the Edge

This case study describes the daily osmotic struggle for survival faced by hummingbirds. The narrative is written from the viewpoint of a human obs ...


Microbial Pie, or What Did You Feed the Neighbors?

The Emergency Room seems busier than usual, and the cases coming in are all too similar.  Everyone seems to be suffering from the same symptom ...


Modern Frankenstein?

This interdisciplinary case study uses the format of a progressive disclosure to explore certain advances in biotechnology and evaluate them within ...


Mom Always Liked You Best

This interrupted case study is based on a journal article on the parenting behavior of American coots. Working through the case, students develop h ...


Monarchs and Milkweed

This interrupted case study was written to help students understand the interplay and relatedness of metabolism in producers and consumers. The sto ...


Mother's Milk Cures Cancer?

This case study on the immune system, cell cycle regulation, and cancer biology explores the role that serendipity plays in new discoveries in scie ...


MRSA in the NICU

DNA sequencing and analysis (bioinformatics) is an increasingly important tool for understanding biological data, including medical data. In this c ...


Mutualism

This case explores two-species interactions, especially mutualism, and presents students with a problem, namely, the inconsistent treatment of the ...


Newsflash! Transport Proteins on Strike!

This role-play case study teaches students about plasma membrane transport and the functions of transport proteins in the phospholipid bilayer. Stu ...


Niños Desaparecidos: A Case Study about Genetics and Human Rights

This case study is based on the identification of 50 children who were displaced during Argentina’s Dirty War of the 1970s, subjected to DNA ...


No Longer Living the Sweet Life

In this interrupted case study, students will help “Dr. Gupta” investigate and assess complications arising in one of her long-term pat ...


No Matter If You’re Black or White

Human populations have adapted to varying intensities of sunlight with varying tones of skin coloration. The balanced interplay between melanin con ...


Oil in the Amazon

In this case study, students participate in a game in which they assume the roles of various stakeholders in a proposed oil and gas proje ...


Organic Food

Currently there is considerable confusion surrounding the use of the term "organic" as applied to food and other consumer products, but within the ...


Outbreak!

This case study uses a PowerPoint presentation to guide students through two activities designed to teach them about the basics of coronavirus diag ...


Peppered Moths and the Industrial Revolution

This interrupted case study was written for students to gain a better understanding of evolutionary concepts and principles as they develop their s ...


Plant Transpiration

This flipped case study is formatted as a PowerPoint presentation that uses group experimentation to encourage active learning in a large science c ...


Poison Ivy

A longstanding belief that has it roots in Native American folklore is that the crushed leaves of jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) relieve t ...


Rated MPG for Confusion

This case study follows a family’s dilemma about how to save money on gasoline. Should they keep their SUV and trade in their Corolla for a h ...


Rhabdomyolysis

This directed case study focuses on exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis (exRML).  Students are guided though skeletal muscle cell membrane transpo ...


Rising Temperatures, Differing Viewpoints

In this case, students work in small groups to analyze and critically evaluate the often political nature of news stories. The case was developed f ...


Selection on a Case by Case Basis

This "clicker case" gives students an opportunity to apply their understanding of three different types of selection (directional, stabilizing, and ...


Should Bill Buy Sammy?

In this case, students are shown the relevance of chemistry in daily decision-making by taking a look at the popular dietary supplement, s-adenosyl ...


Social Distancing in the Midst of COVID-19

This directed case study is intended to give students insight into why social distancing is used to minimize the spread of infectious diseases. Stu ...


Studying Racial Bias

Students evaluate a research proposal to determine if it is consistent with ethical principles and federal guidelines for conducting research with ...


Take a Deep Breath

This interrupted case study tells the story of “Callie,” a 26-year-old baker from San Francisco who runs a successful new cupcake busin ...


Testing for Grazer Adaptation to Toxic Algae

The intent of this interrupted case study is to present a clear example of both the scientific method and evolutionary adaptation in a model system ...


The Art of a Deal

This case is a classroom simulation of the types of negotiations that went into the Kyoto Protocol agreement on limiting global greenhouse gas emis ...


The Biochemistry of Curly and Straight Hair

This interrupted case study examines basic concepts of chemical bonding by telling the story of “Madison,” who is learning about the te ...


The Canadian Canola Controversy

This case study reviews a controversial court case that took place in Canada in 2002 concerning an allegation of patent infringement and a genetica ...


The Case of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Based on the disputed rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in April 2005, this interrupted case study tells the story of a fictional characte ...


The Case of the Malfunctioning Neuron

This flipped case study tells the story of Joyce, a biology student who notices the development of some unusual symptoms (foot slapping and slurred ...


The Case of the Missing Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has claimed approximately one-third of the commercial honeybee population in recent years. A number of causes have b ...


The Concept of Slope

This directed case study is designed for an intermediate algebra course, appropriate for high school mathematics and lower division college mathema ...


The Evolution of Creationism

This PBL case on Intelligent Design was written for freshman biology majors at a Christian liberal arts college. Students read about the claims and ...


The Evolution of Human Skin Color

While the concept of evolution by natural selection is very simple, it is often misunderstood by students. This is partly due to preconceptions the ...


The Evolving Genetics of Disease Resistance

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom applies evolutionary genetics research to human health. Students learn about a naturally occu ...


The Fun in Fermentation

When covering the process of cellular respiration, advanced high school and undergraduate biology classes present fermentation as a means of anaero ...


The Great Parking Debate

Two friends debate whether people leave their parking spaces faster if others are waiting. They decide to see if they can design a study to test th ...


The Horseshoe Crab

This case study examines the population dynamics of the horseshoe crab, which is sometimes described as a “living fossil.” Students are ...


The Moon Landings

This discussion-based, modular case study provides students an opportunity to examine historical, political, and social issues that impact scientis ...


The Perilous Plight of the Pika

This interrupted case study addresses several concepts related to climate change and its effect on the American pika. Often called an indicator spe ...


The Polar Bear of the Salt Marsh?

Polar bears are an iconic symbol of climate change, but regionally relevant examples of susceptible biota are needed to highlight how global forces ...


The Poop on Composting

This interrupted case study tells the story of Miles, a freshman in college, who volunteers to help with the composting program on campus. Miles is ...


The Story of Dinosaur Evolution

In this case study, students write their own “evolution stories” based on information taken from a review article by Paul Sereno on the ...


Thinking Inside the Box

In this particular take on the classic “Black Box Experiment,” students working in groups are given sealed boxes containing objects tha ...


Those Pesky Side-Reactions

The characters in this dilemma case must balance personal financial considerations, their professional futures, and time constraints against ensuri ...


Thyroid Troubles

In this interrupted case study, students shadow an endocrinologist as she tries to determine what is wrong with Angela Barber. Angela is a middle-a ...


To Boldly Go, or Not

This fictional public forum case study is centered on the 2004 decision by President George W. Bush to set NASA’s primary goal as a return to ...


To Spray or Not to Spray

In this case study, students grapple with the complex issues surrounding the use of DDT to control malaria in the developing world. In their examin ...


To the Bitter End

This interrupted case dramatizes the discovery of a Mendelian trait in humans, namely the variation in the ability to taste the chemical phenylthio ...


Tragic Choices: Autism, Measles, and the MMR Vaccine

This case explores the purported connection between vaccines in general, and the MMR vaccine specifically, and autism. Students examine results fro ...


Vaccines, Social Media, and the Public Health

While the "vaccine controversy" has made headlines since the late 1990s, the emergence and popularity of social media has created a public opinion ...


Vikings on Mars

Three experiments carried out by the Mars Viking landers in 1976 remain, to this day, our only attempt to detect life on another planet. All other ...


Water Can Kill?

This case study presents three true stories of people who suffered fatal hyponatremia (low sodium concentration in their body fluids) after consumi ...


We Are Not Alone

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom introduces the human microbiome from the perspective of one of its occupants, Heidi Helicobac ...


When Drug Sales and Science Collide

When "Jeff," a fictionalized drug representative, is placed on the Vioxx® account in 2001, he finds himself pulled between sales and science as ...


When Harry Met Gabby

This case study addresses several concepts related to water hypoxia including physical laws governing dissolved oxygen levels and impacts to living ...


When Metals Eat Each Other

This case study was written to help students understand metal reactivity and metal incompatibility before they start learning about redox reactions ...


When the Flu Is Not the Flu

This case study explores the progression of COVID-19 from initial flu-like symptoms to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to infection ...


Which of These is True? Validity and Ethics in Scientific Experimentation

Many biology courses are designed to develop student understanding and application of the scientific method, but few seriously examine the various ...


Why Is He Different from Both Parents?

This case study was developed to teach the topic of human ABO blood type and genetic inheritance in biology courses at the lower undergraduate leve ...


Winning by a Neck

This interrupted case study is designed to introduce beginning biology students to the process of science by exploring a question that is accessibl ...


Would You Supersize My Cancer, Please?

The recent discovery of acrylamide in both fried and baked foods like French fries and potato chips has caused alarm. Acrylamide is both a known ca ...


Zombie Attack!

Students assume the roles of CDC researchers who must determine how to most effectively stop an impending Zombie apocalypse. The story line leads s ...