In this project that will take approximately 2 1/2 weeks to complete, students explore Stem Cell Research from the vantage point of three curricular areas: As a social scientist with regards to ethics and global issues, a medical scientists with respect to clinical trials and treatment of disease, and from our English teacher, the patient perspective that reinforces the concept that stem cells provide hope for the future.
The culminating project for this unit is our Stem Cell Research proposal. Here students use knowledge from all three curricular areas as well as physical artifacts such as the info-graphic from the Health science classes and the patient autobiography from the English unit to compete for government funding for their student designed research proposal.
The skills most identified with this project revolved around collaboration and communication, chosen specifically as some of the soft skills required by medical professionals working on research teams. As they engage for these two weeks, their research skills will be refined, their writing skills enhanced and their ability to analyze medical data challenged. Science specific skills with regards to using laboratory equipment will increase (micropipettes, following protocol,) and the use of virtual manipulation, such as cell culture techniques and plasmid creation, will provide experience in areas not accessible to high school students.
World History: Provides background into Stem cell research as part of a medical revolution, the ethics that are involved, including global issues such as Stem cell tourism.
Health Science/ Biotechnology: Students explore the physiological differences of stem cells then take on the role of scientist to create cell lines using different growth factors and then examine how clinical research supports stem cell research.
English: Students cement their foundation of stem cell basics and then explore stem cell patient stories that provide background for them to create patient scenarios for the research proposal.
Careers that are relevant to this unit:
Medical Science: PhD- Lab Scientist, Research associate, Veterinarian, Laboratory engineer, Senior editor, fundraising.
Clinical Trial research: Clinical research associate (CRA), data manager, bio-statistician, clinical quality assurance auditor, regulatory affairs specialist, Clinical safety, medical writer.
Health Careers: Physician, oncologist, Radiologist, Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, Lab Tech
This unit is brought to you by Judy Barcelon (CTE Health Science & Biotechnolgoy), Heather Benson (World History), and Karen Coster (English Language-Arts) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead Joshua Bradley.