In explaining about stem cells it is important that students can discuss these in relation to embryonic and adult animals and also meristems in plants; often students only demonstrate knowledge about stem cells in relation to embryos, with many displaying no knowledge of the term meristem and/or not understanding that stem cells are also present in adult animals, so it’s important to provide students with plenty of examples.
In the next step you’ll re-visit your lesson plan and consider how you will support your students in making connection during the lesson. Here, we are providing a few resources which might be useful:
This animation demonstrates how growth occurs at specific regions within plants, how cells divide by mitosis, and how cells become specialised into different tissues (differentiation).
This resource includes a presentation and extensive activities (age 11-16). You’ll want to review both the presentation and activities and decide which slides and which activities would be most suitable for your students, and the activities will need to be separated and fitted into lesson plans. There is a worksheet activity related to a newspaper article, two puzzle type activities and a longer discussion activity on ethical issues surrounding stem cell research.
These activities introduce students to the science of stem cells and explore four basic themes in stem cell biology:
- What is a stem cell? – what STEM cells can do; types of stem cell
- Where do embryonic stem cells come from? – the blastocyst; cell culture; IVF
- Why bother with stem cells? – applications now and in the future
- Making stem cells – induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)
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