Photo by Lindsay Kurbursky

Dear High School Teachers,

The Indiana Medical History Museum is piloting a new, interdisciplinary curriculum called “Health Sciences & the Humanities” that complements high school field trips to the museum. We offer a choice of several units concerning the relationships among medicine, history, and human society. Each unit is appropriate for students in Social Studies, Science, and Health Science courses, covering Indiana Standards in each area.

The units consist of lesson plans for you to use in class before and after the museum visit, making for an enhanced field trip experience. We provide you with everything you need to teach the lessons, including Powerpoint Presentations, handouts, and homework assignments. When your students visit the museum, their tour will be specially tailored to unit and combined with onsite activities that complement the lessons. 

Contact Elizabeth Nelson at if you are interested in piloting one of the units below!

Epidemic! Fundamentals of Public Health, 1850-the Present

The first of our units, which we will be piloting during the 2015-2016 academic year, is called “Epidemic! Fundamentals of Public Health, 1850-the Present.” It consists of four lesson 50-minute lesson plans plus the museum visit, in which students will tour the Old Pathology Building and engage in targeted activities. 

Click here for more details, including a list of the Indiana Academic Standards covered in this lesson. 

If you would like to use this unit in your class to complement a field trip to the museum, contact Elizabeth Nelson at to make arrangements and access the teacher's materials.


Learning Objectives

-Students will be able to

-define “public health” and take on the role of a public health expert

-describe real diseases and their effects on individuals and society, both past and present

-diagnose diseases through the observation of patient symptoms

-make distinctions between the knowledge of historical actors what is known about disease today

-explain how our society’s response to disease has changed over time, while also making connections between the past and the present

-read and analyze primary historical documents

-appreciate the major advances in—and limitations of—scientific techniques for studying and controlling disease since the nineteenth century

-use the scientific method to identify a disease-causing bacterium

-analyze current public health recommendations and create a public health campaign 

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