Beyond Benign

Middle School

CUR Middle School

middle school curriculum topics


This curriculum unit allows students to explore the diverse field of biotechnology through a simulation of a veterinary health issue. Students must test, diagnose and make treatment recommendations for Sparky the cat. Through the process, students discover and apply their knowledge of genetics, heredity, DNA, dominant and recessive traits, Mendel’s Laws, punnet squares and more to understand current and future uses of biotechnology.

Chemistry with a Conscience

This project based learning unit places students in the role of chemists creating shampoo. Students are introduced to green chemistry and sustainability alongside a variety of NGSS aligned physical science concepts and practices: acids, bases, pH, reactions, solutions, etc.


The lessons featured have been designed to introduce green chemistry and sustainable science at community outreach events and tailored to informal educators. Each lesson may be adapted to various level, settings and timeframes.

Green Math & Engineering

This is a STEM unit designed to empower students to be innovators as they design their own prototype home. Students use math, engineering and sustainable science criteria to make informed decisions using data, solve problems and understand the real-world impact of building materials.

Sustainability & STEM

This STEM unit features interactive labs and activities based on examples of sustainable design from leading industry innovators: Steelcase Inc., Ecovative and Sharklet. Students are introduced to a more environmentally-friendly polyester manufacturing process, mushroom materials and material that mimics shark’s skin by preventing bacteria from growing. By utilizing engineering practices and green chemistry principles, students design a replacement to traditional cell phone cases using renewable resources.

MS Biotechnology

MS Chemistry with a Conscience

MS Enrichment Resources

MS Green Math & Engineering

MS Inventing Green

MS Sustainable STEM