Teaching About The Zombie Apocalypse - and STEM

Zombies are all over the media. Ugly, dangerous and very popular. Zombies are coming to classrooms this fall.

Is a zombie apocalypse have any shred of scientific/medical possibility? Some students will have the opportunity to find out when they become immersed in zombie pandemics.

The lessons on how diseases spread and affect the body are part of the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Behind Hollywood Program.

Teachers and students can download it for free online to use at home or in the classroom. It comes from Texas Instruments and The Science and Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

 Melendy Lovett, president of Texas Instruments Education Technology told “So it’s really important to (us) to be part of building a strong pipeline of STEM capable students, and that’s what drives our focus, getting more students interested and excited about STEM and achieving at high levels in science and math."

We are not really worried about zombies but we are worried about STEM and STEM jobs, They are said to be the fastest growing opportunities for young people.

Maybe students will also realize that zombies lack of problem-solving skills - along with terrible walking habits, insatiable hunger and high levels of aggression.

Zombies aren't so different from other outbreaks. A zombie outbreak would look like one from H1N1 or any other disease making its way from outbreak to pandemic and our CDC, or internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO), would have its epidemiologists, scientists, public health experts and physicians involved. Students will calculate the rate of disease spread and assess how to control the disease – such as by creating a vaccine. As part of this activity, teachers are encouraged to educate students about real diseases that have been controlled through inoculations.

The program is available to students and teachers online at The program is primarily aimed towards middle school and high school students.

Her role as one of TV’s most endearing nerds — Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory — is hardly a stretch for TI’s brand ambassador, the Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik.

“STEM Behind Hollywood introduces students to what it looks and feels like to be a scientist. We're making math and science from movies and TV come to life by giving the concepts a visual representation with TI-Nspire™ technology.”

Like her Big Bang Theory character, Mayim holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience, is fluent in the language of science and understands its critical concepts inside and out. She is also a passionate advocate for STEM education and TI-Nspire™ technology.

Danica McKellar, known best as Winnie Cooper on the TV show The Wonder Years, is also a mathematician and author/advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain's esteemed Journal of Physics and the New York Times for her work, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem which bears her name, the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.  now has four math books she has written for
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