How do you teach kids about science when there is so much scientific misinformation and conflict over the truth about coronavirus, vaccines and masks?

For the staff at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), the problem isn’t new. The nonprofit, which works from the local level to the national level to make sure students across the U.S. have an accurate science education, has been guiding teachers on how to handle politically fraught issues like evolution and climate change for years.

Questions about masking, sending kids to school, new variants, CDC policy changes and conspiracy theories prompted the NCSE to develop a new set of lessons, called the “nature of science,” to tackle the most common misconceptions about science and how science works. The lessons are based around public health, epidemiology and the coronavirus pandemic because there’s “an urgent need for people to understand those topics,” said Ann Reid, executive director of NCSE.

“What we certainly see from the pandemic is having a low level of science literacy and a low understanding of how science works in the population is really dangerous,” Reid said. “It leaves people very vulnerable to misinformation and disinformation.”

This summer, the NCSE ramped up its efforts to help teachers grapple with controversial topics. It recruited a group of around 30 teachers who hail from places where conflicts over science during the pandemic have been especially heated, including Florida and Mississippi, to field-test a series of lesson plans on the nature of science — along with a series of climate change lesson plans that had been delayed by the pandemic.

Read the full article about helping science teachers tackle misinformation by Javeria Salman at The Hechinger Report.