image from http://www.ulb.ac.be/sciences/biodic/homepage2.html

A WebQuest for high school biology

Designed by Sophia Gonzales

  

 Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Introduction

Stem cells are all over the media and are important in current science. In this webquest you will be learning about what stem cells are, where they come from, and what they are used for. You will form an educated opinion about the “hot button issue” of embryonic stem cell research.

 



The Task

Before you being the webquest you will complete an introductory activity to assess your prior knowledge about the topic. In the second part of the webquest you will be using a variety of resources such as print media, videos, web pages, and animations to learn about the basics of stem cells. The third part of your task will be to write a persuasive letter expressing your views about embryonic stem cell research.

image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell

 



The Process

 

STEP ONE: Personal reflection

     Read the following paragraph:

Imagine you live in a time and place where people no longer suffer from diseases like Parkinson's, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, organ failure, or Alzheimer's. Imagine that spinal cords can be replaced and that most forms of paralysis have been eliminated. Imagine that nerves, muscles, and even badly burned skin can be regenerated and replaced. Now imagine that the source of this technology comes from something that can't be seen with the human eye. While it might sound like space-age technology that we see in science fiction books and movies, imagine that it could actually be a reality.(excerpt taken from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/science/adult_stemcell.html)

Take a few minutes to react and respond to what you have read. What are your initial reactions or impressions about what you have just read? How do you think this technology would impact the lives of people with these diseases? What would the positive and negative effects of this technology be? Imagine someone you love is afflicted with a disease this technology could potentially cure; what would you be willing to do have access to it? (Fill in your answer on the reaction sheet -you will need to copy and paste the worksheet into a word processing document)

 

STEP TWO: Learning about stem cells

1. Using the resources below, complete the worksheet (as before, copy and paste into a word processing document). Make sure you answer all questions in complete sentences in your own words.

Websites

http://www.isscr.org/public/basics.htm

http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/faqs.asp

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/stem-cells/cellbasics.html

http://www.news.wisc.edu/packages/stemcells/

http://www.kumc.edu/stemcell/intro.html

http://www.lifesciences.umich.edu/research/featured/basics.html

http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/tdc02/sci/life/cell/stemweb/index.html

Animations

Stem cell guy- what is a stem cell, interactive on differentiation

Different types of stem cells-where they come from, interactive quiz

How embryonic stem cell lines are made

HHMI- stem cell animations and video clips

Movies/Video clips

http://www.isscr.org/public/movies.htm

 

2. Go to the link: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/tdc02/sci/life/cell/stemcellvid/index.html Read the Background essay, and watch the video (click “view”, then “take a test drive”). Then, click on the “discussion questions” tab and answer the questions on your worksheet.

 

STEP THREE: Persuasive Letter

Using the information you have collected along with other resources provided, write a persuasive letter answering the question “Should the Federal Government fund embryonic stem cell research?” Whatever your position is you must use science and reason to back it up. Use this website http://oregonstate.edu/dept/eli/buswrite/persuasive_letters.html as guide to write your letter.

Resources:

The Stem Cell Debate

Search through bills about stem cells (type “stem cell” into search)

A private company that does research with stem cells

Stem cells in the media

“Should we allow cloning for stem cell research”- interactive with arguments for and against and a chance to cast your vote.

Webcasts, videos, presentations about stem cells

The coalition of Americans for research ethics

American bioethics advisory commission

Specific diseases relating to stem cell research



Evaluation

 

Your grade will be broken down as follows:

 

     Part 1: 10%

     Part 2: 30%

     Part 3: 60%

 

 

The following rubric will be used:

 

 

LETTER RUBRIC- Part 3

 

CATEGORY

4

3

2

1

Sentences & Paragraphs

Sentences and paragraphs are complete, well-constructed and of varied structure.

All sentences are complete and well-constructed (no fragments, no run-ons). Paragraphing is generally done well.

Most sentences are complete and well-constructed. Paragraphing needs some work.

Many sentence fragments or run-on sentences OR paragraphing needs lots of work.

Salutation and Closing

Salutation and closing have no errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Salutation and closing have 1-2 errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Salutation and closing have 3 or more errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Salutation and/or closing are missing.

Grammar & spelling (conventions)

Writer makes no errors in grammar or spelling.

Writer makes 1-2 errors in grammar and/or spelling.

Writer makes 3-4 errors in grammar and/or spelling

Writer makes more than 4 errors in grammar and/or spelling.

Ideas

Ideas were expressed in a clear and organized fashion. It was easy to figure out what the letter was about.

Ideas were expressed in a pretty clear manner, but the organization could have been better.

Ideas were somewhat organized, but were not very clear. It took more than one reading to figure out what the letter was about.

The letter seemed to be a collection of unrelated sentences. It was very difficult to figure out what the letter was about.

Capitalization and Punctuation

Writer makes no errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Writer makes 1-2 errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Writer makes 3-4 errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Writer makes more than 4 errors in capitalization and punctuation.

Content Accuracy

The letter contains at least 5 accurate facts about the topic.

The letter contains 3-4 accurate facts about the topic.

The letter contains 1-2 accurate facts about the topic.

The letter contains no accurate facts about the topic.

Format

Complies with all the requirements for a friendly letter.

Complies with almost all the requirements for a friendly letter.

Complies with several of the requirements for a friendly letter.

Complies with less than 75% of the requirements for a friendly letter.

 

 

 



Conclusion

You have now become informed about stem cells. Did you change your mind from your initial impressions? What did you learn? What do you still have questions about? If you want to learn more ask your teacher about other opportunities.



Credits & References

 

http://cooltext.com/

 

http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/library/teacher_assignments/stemwebquest/index.htm

 

http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated on July 20, 2007. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page

Life Sciences-HHMI Outreach. Copyright 2006 President and Fellows of Harvard College.

 

Teacher Page

 

If there are students who want to take things further, or you would like to expand this activity here are a few suggestions:

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3209/04.html -there is a video clip and lesson plan that goes with this

 

http://www.embl.de/training/ells/teachingbase/project5/index.html - a game that you can use in the classroom

 

http://www.science.org.au/nova/079/079act.htm - a variety of different activities

 

http://www.garlandscience.com/textbooks/cbl/stemcell/activities/activity1_tn.html - teaching notes and activities

 

http://www.sciencecases.org/stem_cells/stem_cells_notes.asp - case study activity

 

http://www.sciencecases.org/superman_ethics/superman_ethics_notes.asp -case study activity

 

http://www.sciencecases.org/gehrigs_disease/gehrigs_disease.asp -case study activity

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/miracle/program.html - video clips from “Nova- Miracle”

 

http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/tdc02/sci/life/cell/stemweb/index.html - stem cell debate

 

http://www.childrenshospital.org/research/Site2029/mainpageS2029P23sublevel39.html  - virtual stem cell lab

 


Step 1 Worksheet

Reaction

 

Name: ________________________________________________ Date: ____________

 

Take a few minutes to react and respond to what you have read. What are your initial reactions or impressions about what you have just read? How do you think this technology would impact the lives of people with these diseases? What would the positive and negative effects of this technology be? Imagine someone you love is afflicted with a disease this technology could potentially cure; what would you be willing to do have access to it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Step 2

Stem Cell Research Worksheet

 

image from http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/

Name:____________________________ Date: ______________

 

Using the resources provided, compete the following. Make sure you check multiple sources. You can supplement your answers with diagrams as needed.

 

1. What are stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Define the following terms:

 

a.     blastocyst

 

 

b.    totipotent

 

 

 

c.     multipotent

 

 

 

d.    pluripotent

 

 

 

e.     endoderm

 

 

f.      ectoderm

 

 

g.    mesoderm

 

 

h.    proliferation

 

 

3. What is differentiation?

 

 

 

 

4. Where do stem cells come from?

 

 

 

 

 

5. What is a stem cell line? How is one made?

 

 

 

 

 

6. What are the different types of stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

7. What are embryonic stem cells? When were they first isolated?

 

 

 

 

 

8. What are adult stem cells? When were they first isolated?

 

 

 

 

 

9. What are the properties of embryonic stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. What are the properties of adult stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. What are the similarities between adult and embryonic stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. What are the differences between adult and embryonic stem cells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Why do scientists want to study stem cells/what are the benefits to studying them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. How is stem cell research funded?

 

 

 

 

 

13. Why do embryonic stem cells hold promise (why are they so important)?

 

 

 

 

 

14. What are some potential uses of embryonic stem cells? (give specific examples with background as needed)

 

 

 

 

 

15. What are some potential uses of adult stem cells? (give specific examples with background as needed)

 

 

 

 

 

16. Why use embryonic stem cells vs. using adult stem cells/advantages and disadvantages?

 

 

 

 

 

17. Diagram an example of differentiation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Describe how cells become differentiated or specialized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. What is therapeutic cloning, and what are its applications (nuclear transfer)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. How could stem cells be used in the pharmaceutical industry(drug testing)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. What are some of the issues surrounding the debate about the funding of stem cell research by the government?

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. What is regenerative medicine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. What is bioethics?

 

 

 

 

 

 

24. What three issues do you see as most important as stem cell research moves forward?

 

 

 

 

 

25. What are 3 other facts in your search that you found interesting and why?

 

 

 

 


 

Stem Cells: Seeds of hope

 

 

Name: ____________________________________________ Date: ________________

 

Discussion questions:

 

1.What does Dr Snyder mean when he says stem cells are "flexible and plastic?"

In this video what evidence convinces you that stem cells can be used to cure spinal cord injury?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Dr Snyder points out that there are ethical concerns, and that there is no single answer that will please everyone. Who do you think should be the ones to decide where to obtain stem cells for medical research?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC DISEASES RELATED TO STEM CELL RESEARCH:

 

 

http://www.pdf.org/index.cfm - Parkinson’s

http://www.alsa.org/ - ALS

http://www.jdrf.org/ - juvenile diabetes

http://www.cff.org/ - cystic fibrosis

http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2002/aug/socalledlungs/ -cystic fibrosis audio diary