Year 9 have started GCSE Biology with the unit, ‘Cell Biology’. This unit underpins the rest of the Biology course and looks at how living organisms are made up of cells, how they differentiate and how substances are exchanged and transported in and out of them.
Part of this unit is the topic of Stem cells. This is a vast area of research and since the AQA Biology specification was put together, there have been advances in this research. Students have studied what a stem cell is, where they are found and the diseases they can treat. They have considered the advantages and disadvantages of stem cells from bone marrow and embryos.
This was also the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of careers as a clinical scientist and look at some of the current research. Students spent one lesson on an article on stem cell research and also discussed some pathways into stem cell careers and how stem cell research can benefit society.
To consolidate their knowledge, students completed a composite task getting them to look at the benefits of stem cells. Prior to this, they spent some time looking at what the word evaluate means and completed some tasks using examples from past exam questions. They then had to evaluate the use of bone marrow and embryos as a source of stem cells for the treatment of MS. They had to decide which method was best and why.
Mrs R Cahill
Teacher of Science