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Rare Lessons is a Sarepta-led program intended to promote the development and implementation of rare disease lessons in the K-12 classroom. We believe that rare disease education is an important component of disease awareness and diversity and inclusion within the classroom setting and that the study of rare diseases sets the foundation for enhanced education throughout students’ academic lives.  Rare Lessons is a small contribution to ensuring broad education and awareness of rare diseases and the acknowledgement of individuals affected by them.

2020 Rare Lessons Recipients

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In July 2020 we announced Rare Lessons, a Sarepta-led program intended to promote the development and implementation of rare disease lessons in the K-12 classroom.  We are pleased to share the four Rare Lessons contest winners.  Each award recipient brings a unique and important perspective to Rare Disease education and we are thrilled to be able to share their lesson plans through this program.

Below are the names, authors and grade levels of each winning lesson plan. 

  • Empathy, by Jessica Keogh, created for 6-8 grade classrooms
  • Not Weird, Just Different, by Kaitlin Payne, created for elementary school classrooms
  • Rare Diseases Lesson, by Laura Doyle, created for 6-7 grade classrooms
  • The Mystery of Rare Diseases, by Sarah Kesty, created for middle school classrooms

You may access and download the lesson plans on Share My Lesson, a platform dedicated to lesson plans for teachers, by teachers. The four Rare Lessons lesson plans can be found on the Sarepta partner page at: https://sharemylesson.com/partner/sarepta-therapeutics .

We would love to hear how you are using and adapting these lesson plans- as a teacher, member or friend of the Rare Disease community.  Please reach out to [email protected] to share your experiences.

Program Overview

Rare Lessons is accepting submissions of teacher developed lessons plans on rare diseases from July 15- September 15, 2020.  A blinded selection committee will review and select up to 4 winning lesson plans and Sarepta will grant up to 4 monetary awards.  Educators in the K-12 classroom teaching in a U.S. accredited educational institution are eligible to apply.  

  • $2500 will be awarded to the author of the selected lesson plan
  • $2500 will be awarded to the selected author's affiliated educational institution 
  • Sarepta is partnering with ShareMyLesson.com to host the winning lesson plans.  The winning lesson plans will be posted on Share My Lesson and will be made available for download. By submitting the lesson plan, you are giving Sarepta rights to distribute the lesson plan if it is selected as a winner.  

Rare Lessons - PullquoteWe are looking for lessons plans that introduce the topic of rare diseases, link rare diseases to scientific learning in an age-appropriate way and provide the opportunity for learning about real world applicability (i.e. how do rare diseases affect human beings). The lesson plans should also include an element of diversity and inclusion as related to potential disabilities in the rare disease space. 

Before you apply, please read our FAQ Document

Submission Process & Timelines

Thank you for considering submission! We’ve included an application process checklist below. Please review the program rules before applying.

  1. Review our FAQ Document before submitting
  2. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions 
  3. Click here to submit your application.

Please review the Program Contest Rules before applying.


Submissions Open: July 15, 2020
Submissions Close: September 15, 2020
Winners Announced: By December 2020 

Please note:

  • All student-facing materials must be included such as slides, student handouts, activity sheets, and  assessments.
  • Teacher notes should include key talking points and key takeaways.
  • Lessons should be able to be taught and assessed within a standard 1 hour lesson block, including homework. However, extensions or longer-term projects may be added.
  • All content included MUST be original content. If you reference tools (such as books, publicly available worksheets) please reference a source but do not include full re-prints.
  • Please review the FAQ document for a full list of requirements and guidelines. 

Lessons will be scored based on the following criteria: 

  1. Teacher rationale
    • Why is this lesson a meaningful way to educate about rare disease and inclusivity?
  2. Clarity and relevance of objective
    • Would mastering this objective be meaningful to a student’s understanding of rare disease and moving toward greater diversity and inclusion within the classroom and greater community?
  3. Alignment of lesson and the assessment to objective    
    • If taught as described, would this lesson allow students to master the objective? 
    • Would the assessment determine whether or not mastery occurred?
  4. Reproducibility of lesson    
    • Could lesson be reproduced by teachers in different settings and environments using the materials and instructions in the plan?
  5. Creativity of lesson     
    • How interesting would this lesson be for students? 
    • What is likelihood of active student engagement?
  6. Scientific Learning     
    • Does lesson objective and activities promote scientific understanding of rare disease in an age-appropriate manner?
  7. Inclusivity and community building within classroom    
    • Does lesson promote inclusivity and community building within the classroom?
  8. Inclusivity and community building within community     
    • Does lesson promote inclusivity and community building within the broader community?


Submit a Lesson Plan

Rare Lessons is currently closed for submissions. Please check back for updates on the program.