My students need a class set (35) of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
This project expired on December 18, 2011.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Help inspire future scientists! This book will help my students understand the importance of science and push them to improve their literacy. It will challenge them to make bioethical considerations and become advocates against the health disparities that they, and their communities, face every day.
Many of my students question the value in studying science.
The story of Henrietta Lacks and her contribution to medicine can help bring that relevance to my students. Through application of this novel, my students can reach a better understanding of bioethics and the prejudices that cause health disparities to occur.
I teach 11th grade Biology in a public inner city school in Maryland. I have approximately 75 students that I see each day. We are a title one school. Despite this, my students are visionaries. They are insightful, bold, and unafraid, and I have learned more from them than I ever imagined possible. I want to foster this curious drive to learn by bringing them relevance, while simultaneously improving literacy.
The story of Henrietta Lacks is both incredible and horrifying. Amazingly, scientists were able to use cancer cells from her tumor to grow human cells in a laboratory setting. While a great advancement in medicine, a huge ethical breach was made: the doctor that took her cells did not get permission, or even inform her that he was doing so, nor did she or her family receive benefits (such as compensation) from the procedure. These cells (now known as HeLa cells) survived long after Henrietta Lacks died, and have been integral in many scientific breakthroughs, such as the development of the polio vaccine, cancer-mapping, and cloning. Unfortunately, Henrietta Lacks never knew her contribution to modern science, and her story has been scarcely told.
Reading Henrietta Lacks' story will allow my students to examine the connections between the little-discussed history of experimentation on African-Americans, the bioethics behind medical research and the role health disparities play today.
The opportunity to implement this novel into my curriculum cannot happen without your help.
There is simply not enough funding. By donating, you will not only help support student literacy, but you can contribute to a revolution. Please help open young eyes and eager minds to the world of science; give my students the push they need to become scientists, self-advocates, great thinkers, and lovers of learning.
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