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Who is at risk?

Lesson Plan
CDC NERD Academy Health Shield graphic

In module 3, students learn about factors that can affect health outcomes (e.g., risk factors). They also learn about the social determinants of health and how these determinants affect the health of communities. Using case studies, students identify individuals’ risk for NERD based on their personal biology, behaviors, and environment. Students also learn what it takes to pursue a public health career as a behavioral scientist.

Educational Video for Students

This video introduces students to the concepts they will be exploring in CDC NERD Academy Module 3: Who is at risk? This video teaches students what health equity means and how different types of risk factors increase or decrease a person’s risk for disease. Students learn the role of a behavioral scientist and how determinants of health affect risk factors and health outcomes. After this video, students will be ready to participate in an activity and group discussion about disease risk.

Activity Demonstration for Teachers

This instructional video shows educators how to organize their classroom, group students, and prepare and distribute handouts for participation in Module 3: Who is at risk? This video provides a brief overview of the concepts students will learn in this module, including health equity, risk factors, and prevention strategies. The video guides educators through the steps of a learning activity that helps students identify disease risk factors by reviewing case studies and creating a concept map. The video provides suggested timing for the activity and discussion and offers tips for encouraging students to brainstorm and discuss strategies to reduce disease risks.

Public Health Career Spotlight: Behavioral scientist

A behavioral scientist studies why people behave the way they do and what factors influence decisions and encourage or discourage changes in behaviors. They use what they learn and know about human behavior to develop effective science science-based interventions and programs to help people make positive changes.

Behavioral Scientist standing holding folder in hand.

Download this poster and display in the classroom for reference and discussion during student activities.

DOWNLOADABLE Poster pdf icon[342 KB, 1 Page, 508]

See the collection of public health career spotlights from all modules in this curriculum.

To learn more about public health STEM careers, visit See Yourself in a Public Health Career (