Unit Bundles

On this webpage, you find what we call AST Unit Starters. As the name suggests, these materials should give you ideas for your own unit. Colleagues of yours wrote these unit starters up for you, so you can benefit from their thinking, expertise, and creativity, and thus get a head-start on your own unit. We encourage you to examine the materials with gratitude and without judgment, take what seems appropriate for the big science ideas you are going to teach, and adapt materials and develop your own unit so it fits your context and your students’ experiences and interests. Here are a few points to consider:

  • K to 12 science teachers went the extra mile and spent the time to put their curriculum material in a form that helps you get started.
  • You will find specific sections in each bundle. These are important when planning the flow of a phenomenon-based unit.
  • These unit starters are works- in-progress. We are constantly making improvements and adaptations in support of our students’ understanding of the science.
  • If you share a unit based on these unit bundles, please acknowledge its origin [adapted from: our website address]
  • If you have adaptations of a unit that worked well in your classroom, and you want to share these ideas, please contact us. We will give you feedback if, how, and where these materials may fit on the website. Please do not feel disappointed if we cannot incorporate your ideas, based on space, organization, and our expertise of what is useful for the greater AST science teacher community.

The teachers who developed these unit starters had ongoing professional development in AST, foremost through the PASTL project (Partnership for Ambitious Science Teacher Leaders—centered in the state of Washington).

We encourage you to write your own AST unit starters, using this template.

Bundle Algae Biofuel
Biology: Photosynthesis & Metabolism
High School 9 – 12
Corin Malone
Auburn Riverside High School, Auburn School District

Bundle Skin Cancer
Biology: Cell Division and Cancer
High School 9 – 12
Corin Malone
Auburn Riverside High School, Auburn School District
Materials adapted from “Not An Old Person’s Disease” by National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science* and “A Case of Skin Cancer” by Science Take-Out**

Bundle Orca 
Biology: Ecosystems and Orca Populations
Grade 9/10
Scott Conlan, Laura Schmidt
Sedro-Woolley High School, Sedro-Woolley School District

Gen Sci Weather and Heat Transfer
Grade 7
Lexi MacNevin
Lynden Middle School, Lynden School District, WA

AST Unit starter Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics

Grade 7 or 8
Brittney Lindsay
Lakota Junior High, Federal Way Public Schools, WA


Elementary Chemistry-Muffins Rise-Vroom final

Elementary Grade 5

Elizabeth Vroom
Christie Barchenger
Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island School District 303


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