Backyard Mystery – Afterschool Biology Curriculum for Grades 5-7

October 1st, 2009 - September 30th, 2013 | PROJECT

Backyard Mystery is an NSF-funded curriculum, focused on diseases, pathogens and careers, using interactive paper and physical activities. Content is for middle school participants in afterschool settings, like 4-H and other similar venues. The curriculum engages student interest in genetics and genomics and in the bioSTEM workforce. The curriculum storyline is placed in a familiar setting to students--the backyard--and explores fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites in a way that is engaging fun and informative. It can be tailored to specific audiences, e.g. participants interested in animal science will gain from focusing on the parasite panel. The curriculum is available in two forms: a combined lesson that brings all of the elements together in one session and another in which the content is broken out into three separate lessons. We would like to share this curriculum with facilitators and educators for both out-of-school time and classroom settings. It is available electronically and free to use. We only ask for users to complete a brief survey to give us feedback, which is helpful for NSF.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Team Members

Barbara Alonso, Contributor, University of California-Berkeley
Peggy G. Lemaux, Principal Investigator, University of California-Berkeley


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ITEST
Award Number: 0929769
Funding Amount: 900432


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Families | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers
Discipline: General STEM | Life science | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps