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A Science Odyssey Title Medicine and Health Activity Title


What Happens When...?

Overview: Brainstorm a concept web on longer life span
Learning Goal: Explore the consequences of prolonging life
Video Link: The Role of Modern Medicine

Medicine's modern accomplishments allow more people to live longer than ever before. As this happens, world population tends to rise. Students can use a "futures web" to identify some potential consequences.

Write the concept "Individuals live longer" on the board. Ask students to think about the impact this might have on people, society, and resources. You can suggest the first idea -- for instance, "World population grows" -- to start the process. Write your concept on the board, and draw an arrow connecting it to the central concept. Invite students to continue adding to the Web. Entries may be positive, negative, or neutral, and link to the central concept or to concepts that others have contributed. For each new concept, students should indicate cause-and-effect relationships with arrows (see sample web below). Make sure students can explain connections they propose. When everyone has had a chance to contribute, review the web, offering time to discuss and debate the proposed consequences.

View the final segment of "Matters of Life and Death." Discuss the issues covered; then revisit the Web and let students make additions or amendments.

Diagram showing repurcussions of people living longer
Medicine and Health Program Contents


Activities subtitle

Public Health Task Force
In Dangerous Times
In-Depth Investigation: Disease Detectives




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