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A Science-based Curriculum for the COVID-19 Pandemic


COVID Healthy Actions, Community Knowledge, and Science (HACKS) curriculum resources address critical science and health concepts and skills related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons are available for different grade bands: K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

COVID HACKS teaching resources engage students in key science and engineering practices, such as asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing or interpreting data, and communicating scientific information. Search the list below for topics relevant to your students.

  • What Are Vaccines?

    What Are Vaccines?

    Students learn how vaccines work and how they are made by viewing two short videos and answering questions that promote critical thinking related to vaccines and the immune system.

  • Reducing Disease Threats through Vaccination

    Reducing Disease Threats through VaccinationLesson

    By working through three simulations of the spread of an imaginary infectious disease called “yuckyitis,” students learn how vaccination can protect populations against disease, and they relate this knowledge to the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

  • It Starts @Home

    It Starts @HomeLesson

    Students will learn about common symptoms of COVID-19 as listed in health communications and discuss similarities and differences of COVID-19 with other illnesses, such as colds or flu (influenza).

    Grades: K-2
  • Transmission by Droplets

    Transmission by DropletsLesson

    Student teams will use water in a spray bottle to observe 1) the importance of physical distancing by at least six feet, and 2) why masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

  • Spacing Out

    Spacing OutLesson

    Students are challenged to design an art room that will afford the social (physical) distancing required during the pandemic. Working through the challenge will raise awareness about the complexity of arranging the physical environment to reduce disease transmission in a traditional classroom.

  • Mask Myths

    Mask Myths

    Students will determine whether six myths about face coverings or masks are true or false, based on evidence.

  • Vaccines and Health

    Vaccines and Health

    Students learn about the impact of vaccines on human health by exploring one of the 16 diseases for which they have (or should have) received a vaccine.

  • Pandemics Through History

    Pandemics Through HistoryLesson

    Students are challenged to make a timeline of historical pandemics to demonstrate that the current COVID-19 pandemic is not a one-of-a kind event. Students will reflect upon the ways in which pandemics have shaped the development of scientific and public health knowledge, and the treatments that have resulted.

  • Pandemic Puzzle

    Pandemic PuzzleLesson

    This word search puzzle focuses on terminology and vocabulary associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be used as a stand-alone activity or to extend any other curriculum lessons.

  • Modeling the Virus that Causes COVID-19

    Modeling the Virus that Causes COVID-19

    A particle (virion) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is approximately 100 nanometers across. How big is that? In this activity, students learn about the shape and relative size of the virus by constructing a paper model of a single virus particle.


The COVID HACKS curriculum project is made possible thanks to the support from Laura & John Arnold and Baylor College of Medicine. Scientists, educators, and physicians from Baylor College of Medicine provided content, feedback, and technical reviews.