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Mrs. Gurule-Leyba from Santa Fe NM is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

HeLa: The Immortal Cells

My students need 60 nonfiction books entitled "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" to read as an interdisciplinary unit in conjunction with working with HeLa cells.

  • $1,052 goal

This project expired on November 16, 2010.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Do you remember doing something in Science class and not understanding the relevance behind it? My students use HeLa cells in a chromosomal study unit but do not understand the importance of these tumor cells. It is time to introduce my students to HeLa the person.

My high school is an inner city school with a population of approximately 1400 students.

95% of the students are Hispanic and approximately 75% of the student population qualifies for free and/or reduced lunch. We have a high immigrant population and ELL classes are offered in Language Arts and Mathematics. We also have an AVID program and are now an AVID national demonstration school. AVID strategies are incorporated into all courses. The Healthcare Careers Pathway consists of approximately 200 10-12th grade students. Approximately 65% of the students enrolled in the pathway are enrolled in the AVID elective course also. All students and parents must complete a mandatory orientation to register for the pathway. The success rate this past year is approximately 95% with many students entering a medical related career, training, and/or post-secondary education opportunity.

My Project

Principles of the Biomedical Sciences, the foundation course in the Healthcare Careers Pathway, involves a unit that reviews chromosomal structure and function. Students prepare chromosomal spreads in the lab using living human tumor cells known as HeLa Cells. Interdisciplinary studies of HeLa is important to the bioethics and history of medicine. The topics of HeLa Cells are studied coherently in English, History, as well as Principles of the Biomedical Sciences. An interdisciplinary unit using the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will allow students to be able to see a broader picture of not only what HeLa cells are but also who HeLa was, the medical interventions throughout history and what is used today, and the background history within the story.

Students will understand that as healthcare professionals there are accepted ethical practices with respect to cultural, social, and ethnic differences within the healthcare environment.

Students will be able to differentiate between ethical and legal issues impacting healthcare in the past and today by developing a detailed timeline. They will compare personal, professional, and organizational ethics and recognize ethical issues and their implications related to healthcare throughout history.

Mrs. Gurule-Leyba
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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28 donors28 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 125 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot • Barnes and Noble $14.44 60 $866.40

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