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Lesson Plans Library 9-12 > Life Science
Innovations in Obstetrics and Pediatrics
Innovations in Obstetrics and Pediatrics
Grade level: 9-12 Subject: Life Science Duration: Three class periods
 



lesson plan support
Objectives
Students will
  • Relate the important contributions of the innovators and scientists highlighted in the video, including the two Nobel Prize winners Robert Koch and Selman Waksman.
  • Describe the purpose of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Recommend who might or should have been awarded this honor if the prize had been given before 1901. Defend your choice with information.
  • Research and present information about other winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, describing their contributions.
Materials
  • History of Medicine: Innovations in Obstetrics and Pediatricsprogram
  • Computer with Internet access
Procedures
  1. After watching the video, ask students to name some of the innovations in medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries. Provide the following list of names on the board. As a class, review the significant contributions of each person:
    • Friedrich Osiander: Based obstetrical procedures on solid science and used new instruments such as forceps.
    • Ignaz Semmelweis: Discovered that hand washing could prevent the spread of disease in a hospital.
    • Adolf Windaus: Discovered the connection between a lack of vitamin D and rickets.
    • Edward Jenner: Discovered the first vaccination for smallpox.
    • Louis Pasteur: Discovered the first vaccination for rabies and that heating milk destroyed harmful bacteria.
    • René-Théophile Laënnec: Invented the stethoscope.
    • Robert Koch: Discovered that tuberculosis was caused by a bacterium and introduced new scientific standards for researching infectious diseases.
    • Selman Waksman: Discovered an antibiotic that cures tuberculosis.
    • Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen: Discovered X-ray and produced the first X-ray image of a human.
  2. Next, ask students to identify the two people from the list who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. (Robert Koch in 1905 and Selman Waksman in 1952) Explain that the Nobel Prize was established by the Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel, and it is the first international award given yearly since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. In 1968, another prize in economic sciences was instituted. Have students read an excerpt from Nobelís will in which he describes the purpose of the prize:
  3. According to the will, who should be awarded Nobel Prizes?("?those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.") Who should be awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine? ("?the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine.")
  4. Explain that the Nobel Prize was first awarded in 1901. Ask students to review the list of people featured in the video. With the exception of Adolf Windaus, the other individuals made their significant contributions before 1901. Ask students to consider who might or should have won the Nobel Prize if had been awarded during the 19th century. Have a few volunteers share and defend their choices.
  5. Now tell students that they will explore the work of winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Their assignment is to research one past laureate and present his or her contributions to the class. Their presentation should include the following items:
    • Scientistís name and year prize was awarded
    • Brief summary of the scientistís discovery
    • Explanation of how the scientistís work reflected the issues, problems, or technology of the time period
    • Personal statement about why the person deserved the Nobel Prize
  6. Tell students they may choose from the complete list of laureates or from the list below. The links beneath the selected names provide background about the scientistís work.
  7. Have students give their class presentations. Keep a running list of the laureates and their discoveries on the board.
  8. After the presentations, look at the list of Nobel Prize winners again. What impact have these individuals had on our lives? Looking further ahead into the 21st century, what discoveries might earn future scientists Nobel Prizes in physiology or medicine?

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Evaluation
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students were active in class discussions; identified several innovations in medicine from the 19th and 20th centuries; showed a strong understanding of the Nobel Prize and its purpose; created a complete, engaging presentation about a past Nobel Prize winner, including a clear, compelling description of the individual?s work.
  • Two points: Students participated in class discussions; identified some innovations in medicine from the 19th and 20th centuries; showed a satisfactory understanding of the Nobel Prize and its purpose; created a complete presentation about a past Nobel Prize winner, including a simple description of the individual?s work.
  • One point: Students did not participate in class discussions; identified few or no innovations in medicine from the 19th and 20th centuries; showed a weak understanding of the Nobel Prize and its purpose; created an incomplete or confusing presentation about a past Nobel Prize winner, including an unclear or incomplete description of the individual?s work.

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Vocabulary
caesarian section
Definition:The surgical removal of a baby from the motherís womb
Context:The caesarean section became a safer option when doctors learned how to keep the abdominal cavity sterile during the operation.

incubator
Definition:A machine with a compartment that provides a controlled environment to help premature or sick babies develop
Context:Incubators have been in use since the end of the 19th century.

midwife
Definition:Someone who helps deliver babies
Context:By the early 19th century, the job of delivering babies went from female midwives to male doctors.

obstetrics
Definition:The branch of medicine dealing with pregnancy and childbirth.
Context:One of the most dramatic developments in the history of obstetrics is the simple practice of hand washing.

premature
Definition:Born before completing the normal gestation period, usually more than three weeks before due date
Context:With the right medical care, premature infants weighing less than one pound can still survive.

vaccine
Definition:A substance that protects a body against a disease by causing the bodyís immune system to produce antibodies
Context:The development of vaccines is one of the greatest achievements in medical history.

virus
Definition:A microscopic organism that lives in a cell of another living thing
Context:Today we know that a virus causes smallpox.

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Academic Standards
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL?s Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks,click here.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Science - Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge; Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
  • Technology: Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual
  • World History - An Age of Revolutions, 1750-1914: Understands patterns of global change in the era of Western military and economic dominance from 1800 to 1914
  • World History - A Half-Century of Crisis and Achievement, 1900-1945: Understands the search for peace and stability throughout the world in the 1920s and 1930s
  • World History - The 20th Century Since 1945: Promises and Paradoxes: Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world

National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades K?12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards,click hereto visit the Web site.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • Science and Technology
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • History and Nature of Science

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