Project Details


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.
Effective start/end date1/08/0031/07/07


  • National Cancer Institute


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