Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Michelle Stinvil

William H. Maxwell Vocational HS


Is Cancer on the Rise or Decline in America Today?

Length of lesson: 3-5 days.

Vocabulary: oncology, metastatic, chemotherapy, malignant, benign, tumor, carcinogen, mutation.

Development: Before discussing the topic above, students will be given a handout about cancer.

Motivational questions:

1. What is cancer?

2. What are your ideas about cancer?

3. Do you know anyone who has or had cancer?

4. Do you know someone who has died from cancer? What type of cancer and how did it make you feel?

Research Project: [9-12 Content Standard F- Personal and community health]

Students will prepare a research paper that will be graded like an exam. The students will have to submit the report the first day that they return from break.

The paper will be graded on the accuracy and completeness of the following information.

1. State and explain three types of cancer that may be on the rise or decline among females over the last ten years.

2. State and explain three types of cancer that may be on the rise or decline among men over the last ten years.

3. What are the environmental, nutritional, or other factors that are said to be responsible for the rise or decline in the cancer rate among both males and females over the last ten years?

4. What are some of the treatments that are being used today for cancer? [9-12 Content Standard E- Understandings about science and technology]

5. Construct a graph for each type of cancer for both males and females based on your statistics.


Students will meet in small groups to discuss their findings. It is also my desire that they will have a greater appreciation for cancer research, and a deeper compassion for patients who are diagnosed with cancer. Students will also be asked to contact the American Cancer Society for extra credit.

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