Lesson Plan

Shedding a "Little" Light on Cancer Surgery

Many types of cancer treatments now depend on nanotechnology—a big "little" discovery. Scholars begin by removing "malignant" tissue from simulated brains, one using fluorescent markers thanks to nanotechnology and one without. This allows participants to evaluate which is most effective and determine if chemical markers should be used more widely. A group debate about how research funding should be spent engages pupils as a summative activity.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Invite a neurological surgeon or someone who has benefited from brain cancer surgery to speak to the class about the experience
Classroom Considerations
  • Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using a scalpel
  • Jello brains need to be prepared before class
  • Relies on high-quality research from the top cancer centers in the United States
  • Encourages the consideration of cost factors when determining treatments
  • Uses higher order thinking skills
  • None