Stem cells: lessons learned. (Science).From Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases Alzheimer's disease (ăls`hī'mərz, ôls–), degenerative disease of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that leads to atrophy of the brain and senile dementia. to spinal cord injuries Spinal Cord Injury Definition
Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that causes loss of sensation and motor control.
Approximately 10,000 new spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur each year in the United States. and strokes, the potential benefits of stem cell stem cell
In living organisms, an undifferentiated cell that can produce other cells that eventually make up specialized tissues and organs. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. research--as well as the accompanying bioethical controversy--have gotten a lot of attention lately. While the topic is not likely to be part of any curriculum standards, as a current event it's being introduced in many middle and high school classrooms.
The National Science Teacher's Association doesn't have a specific position on whether stem cell research should be taught, but it does have a statement that stresses the importance of "focusing on real-world problems which have science and technology components from the students' perspectives." NSTA NSTA National Science Teachers Association
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NSTA National Substitute Teachers Alliance (Fresno, California) spokeswoman Cindy Workosky says that some teachers introduce real-world problems through regular "news of the day" discussions.
Anne Tweed, a biology teacher at Eaglecrest High School This article or section is written like an .
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Mark blatant advertising for , using . in Aurora, Colo., dedicates every other Friday in her classes to "science in the news." Students bring in articles of interest with summaries and questions. The first unit of the school year, What is Life?, brought up the question of whether stem cells stem cells, unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young qualify as living material, and then of whether research on human cells is ethical. The topic came up when a student brought in a Time magazine cover story.
After a discussion, students organized a debate. This format is effective when covering controversial issues, Tweed says. "If it's an emotional issue, the only way to really understand it is to take the emotion out of it." The debate ended with consensus that if stem cells are going to be discarded anyway, why wouldn't we want to use them (if regulated) to benefit mankind? But stem cell issues will be raised in Tweed's classroom again. "This is something that there will obviously be developments on throughout the year."
Teachers won't easily find ready-made lesson plans on stem cells. Here are two lessons available from The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times Learning Network and CNNfyi.com:
* A New You!, for grades 6-12: www.nytimes.com/learning/ (enter "stem cells" in Lesson Plan Search)
* Stem Cell Research, for grades 9-12: fyi.com/2001/fyi/lesson.plans/07/12/stem.cell/