The Launch:

Welcome to the Center for Community and Global Health

Purpose of the Activity:

The purpose of any unit "Launch" is to do the following:
  • Put the content of the unit into an engaging context
  • Help students make meaning of the unit's content
  • Get students excited about the upcoming unit

In this particular unit, the launch includes both a letter (simulated) from ECMC's Michael Young welcoming the students as interns to the new Center for Community and Global Health, and a chance to explore real health issues in our area, gaining an awareness of the health problems specific to our community. As the unit continues, students will explore health issues locally and globally, select and research a health issue of local importance, teach others about the issue through creating a Public Service Announcement, and identify a potential solution and try to secure funding for that solution.


  • If they are not going to read it from the web, make enough copies of the welcome letter for each of your students.

Teaching Considerations:

  • What can you do in how you lead these activities, and in how you interact with students to get them more excited about this unit? How can you build energy for the upcoming activities?
  • The letter may contain vocabulary that the students are not familiar with. Consider some of these activities to help.

Organizational Note:

  • All teachers can do these same activities at the same time.
  • A cluster might consider having all students come together and meet in the Project Room for these activities.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Process: Students generate interest, energy, and enthusiasm for the unit
  • Process: Students have an understanding of the major requirements/products of the unit

The Process

Total time frame: Half a Project Block (not counting time for vocabulary activities)

Step 1: Welcome to the Center for Community & Global Health

Pass out the copies of the letter, or have them access the electronic copy from the CCGH Intern web page, and have students read it.

Step 2: What does it mean?

Discuss the letter's meaning.

(The letter accepts the students as Interns for the new Center for Community & Global Health at ECMC and charges them with identifying a local health issue to research, create a PSA about, identify a solution for, and write a grant to fund the solution.)

Step 3: Initial discussion of possible topics

Have an informal discussion (10-15 minutes) with students about what ideas for health issues that effect this community and the Buffalo area.

Note: this is an important cognitive step. It begins to get students to contextualize the unit to their own community, before you start exploring real news and data from the Buffalo area (next set of activities), and before you start a serious brainstorm and exploration of topics. In fact, think of it as "priming the pump" and don't spend too much time on topics, nor on trying to come to any decisions. The next activities are critical to the topic selection phase.