SCIENCE FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM--HS CANCER RES PARTNER

Project Details

Description

DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description) Science for the New Millennium: High
School Cancer Research Partnership. The most rapidly advancing and changing
field in research today is human cancer genetics. However, much of what the
public learns about cancer genetics is through the media and it can be
misleading or simply wrong. How do we educate the public about the genetic
changes that result in cancer? How do we spark the imagination of the next
generation of cancer researchers? One way is to incorporate the latest in
cancer genetics theory and research into current high school biology
curriculum. High school is the last time many people will have any formal
training in science; it affords an ideal opportunity to reach large segments
of the population. Hands on, inquiry based learning has been shown to be the
most effective method to introduce new scientific information into the
curriculum. This program would put scientists from the Ohio State University
Comprehensive Cancer Center in touch with high school students from around
central Ohio to conduct cancer research in their classroom. This proposal is
based on the results of a highly successful pilot project. It combines cancer
education with a short-term research experience for about 1,000 students each
year.

This partnership will bring high-tech research equipment into the classroom,
where students can learn about cancer genetics and have a first hand
introduction to cancer research. Using PCP, kits which are specifically
designed for the high school classroom, students will isolate their own DNA
and compare their genetic "fingerprint" to that of DNA from tumor cell lines.
Students will also prepare, analyze and compare chromosomes from diploid cell
lines with those from tumor cell lines. Classes will also use the newly
developed NCI-NIH curriculum supplement.

Schools will be chosen to participate through a competitive application
process, with equal representation for four different geographic sections of
the greater Columbus area (approximately two million people) and covering some
20 school districts. To ensure the implementation and success of this
partnership, teachers from participating schools will receive summer training
and then assistance in integrating the program into their classrooms. Lead
teachers who are experienced in the technologies will design the training
sessions and will be paired with new participating schools throughout the
year.

We will create, implement, evaluate and disseminate a comprehensive, model
education program for high school students and their teachers, which focuses
on the genetic changes that occur in cancer development and predisposition.
Currently, there is neither high school curriculum materials on this subject
nor training to prepare teachers to share this information with their
students. This innovative, hands on science education partnership will change
student knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning the genetic alterations
associated with cancer and cultivate an interest in cancer research as a
career.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/08/0031/07/07