Fred Hutch is a nonprofit comprehensive cancer center dedicated to the elimination of cancer and related diseases. For over 30 years, the Science Education Partnership (SEP) at Fred Hutch has partnered with teachers and scientists to develop open access instructional materials for the classroom and provide professional learning opportunities for teachers. This unit was made possible by Frontiers in Cancer Research R25 GM129842, a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIGMS or NIH.
Science Discipline: Life Science
Year Reviewed: 2023
This storyline-based unit focuses on the concepts of cell growth, cell cycle, and mutations by using cancer as the anchoring phenomenon. Students explore the effect mutations can have on cells as they divide and differentiate, how cancer can disrupt our body’s systems, and how science is used to develop treatments and cures. Over ten lessons, students investigate the fictionalized case of Hina Marsey, an eleven-year-old girl who is diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Hina’s story unfolds throughout the unit. In the first sequence of lessons (Bend 1), students ask questions and develop conceptual models about cell growth, cell differentiation, and cancer to explain what is going on with Hina’s body. In Bend 2, students learn about Hina’s cancer treatments and explore the challenges of finding a stem cell transplant donor for Hina. This unit is designed for students to engage in discourse practices and collaborative sensemaking. Hina’s story is inspired by a real-life patient treated at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.
Link to Materials
The following link will direct you to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Intro to Cancer Unit: Intro to Cancer Unit
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