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Created By: Kienna Knowles

Course: EDUC 6663-T1002 Integrating Technology In The Curriculum (Part 1)

Course Instructor: Dr. Ashraf Esmail

Technology Standard 2: Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences

Program Outcome: S2.4: Plan for the management of technology resources within the context of learning activities.


WebQuests are inquiry-based learning activities that primarily use Internet resources. Student-centered and inquiry-based, a WebQuest challenges students to explore the web for information. In these activities, students read, analyze, and synthesize information using the Internet. This learner supports that WebQuest are ideal for managing technology resources within learning activities. Typically, the teacher selects the resources that students will use to complete the activity. The following is a WebQuest (designed by this learner) on the use of Stem Cells in modern Biology techniques. In this quest students were provided web-based resources to complete a list of tasks. This WebQuest represents how educators can plan and manage Internet use by students to ensure that the Internet sites used are allowing maximum learning.

Title: WebQuest: Stem Cells: The Cells Of Unlimited Cures


When there is nothing else for doctors to prescribe, hope works like a drug (Gibbs, 2006). After all, researchers have been injecting stem cells into the body and documenting their regeneration in to many types of functioning cells. For instance researchers have injected stem cells into paralyzed rats and watched their spinal cords mend. Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals and they have the potential to mend /cure other areas in the body (NIH, 2006).

Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell (NIH, 2006).

Stem cells research has caused several debates. Stem cell controversy has arisen from ethical debate centered on research involving the creation, usage and destruction of human embryonic stem cells. Some opponents of the research argue that this practice fundamentally devalues the worth of a human life (NIH, 2006 and Gibbs, 2006)). Contrarily, medical researchers in the field argue that it is necessary to pursue embryonic stem cell research because the resultant technologies could have significant medical potential, and that excess embryos created for in vitro fertilization could be donated with consent and used for the research (Gibbs, 2006). The stem cell debate has prompted authorities around the world to seek regulatory frameworks and highlighted the fact that embryonic stem cell research represents a social and ethical challenge.


In this activity students will focus of the nature of stem cells, the purpose of stem cells in modern medicine and research, the benefits of stem cells, and the debates surrounding stem cells usage. The tasks in this activity enable students to address topics surround the benefit ad usage of stem cells in modern medicine. The tasks are designed to follow blooms levels of higher-order thinking. Specifically, students will comprehend, analyze, apply, predict, and support information collected about stem cells, stem cell research in modern medicine, and the ongoing stem cell debate. The goals of the assignment are: 1) to familiarize students with the various types of stem cells, the purpose of stem cells and the process for obtaining stem cells; 2) to inform students about the use of stem cells in modern medicine and research and 3) to elicits student thoughts regarding the stem cell debate.

PART 1: Research Report

a. Discuss the significance and purpose of stem cells.

b. Identify and distinguish between the different types of stem cells.

c. When, where, and how did stem cell research develop.

d. Discuss the Benefits of stem cells to human health and disease.

e. Discuss the proponents and opponents theories and comments regarding stem cells

f. State the groups’ opinion of stem cell research uses and benefits?

PART 2: Diagram/Model

Create a large-scale 2-D or 3-D model that visually (with words and pictures) outlines the process of how stem cells can be used to create a new organ system or repair an injured/deformed area of the body. Each group will select their own organ system to model. (Refer to the introduction on how researchers injected stem cells into paralyzed rat and watched them repair paralysis in the rat as an example).


A variety of resources have been selected for this activity. The resources provided enable students to use information rather than spend time finding information. All the resources were selected to address a particular task(s) associated with the assignment. The URL addresses provided allows students to answer the focus questions regarding stem cells. The art supplies will be used to assist students in developing their 2D or 3D models that show how stem cells are used specifically to regenerate or repair cells or organs. The Database provides links to valuable recourses surrounding stem cell debates and controversy.

Resources List URL’s: (NIH, 2006) (KQED, 2008) (IDEA, 2007)

Required Supplies

Art Supplies

Reference Database (Assessable via school media center or local library)



To complete the activity tasks, students will be assigned to groups of 3. Each group will begin the project by addressing the questions in part 1. Once students have addressed all of the questions (in part 1), they will move on to part 2 and develop a 2D or 3D poster that models the methods/techniques for using stem cells to regenerate into new cells or organs.

The questions and resources are strategically placed in order so that the knowledge continues to build one concept after the other, supporting Blooms levels of thinking. It is imperative that students answer the questions in order so that they have a clear understanding of stem cells, their uses, and the controversy surrounding stem cell research.


To evaluate this WebQuest, students will be graded using two rubrics. The first rubric will be based on the overall assignment tasks. The second rubric allows teammates to evaluate the role and performance of each member in the group.

Rubric 1: Please visit the following link to view the assignment rubric. (Knowles, 2007).

Rubric 2: Please visit the following link to view the collaboration rubric. (Thiel, 2007).


The goal of this Internet workshop is to allow students to research view and reflect on stem cells and their purpose in modern medicine/research. After completion of this activity student will understand how federal regulations impact stem cell funding and research. Because of new regulations on stem cell research, scientists have been limited in their possibilities. Students will also form research-based opinions regarding the benefits and need of stem cell research. The stem cell debate continues to elicit many views and opinions that will impact the research community. As students conclude this activity they will reflect on the need and benefit of stem cell research.


Gibbs, N. (2006). Stem Cells The Hope and The Hype. Time Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2008 from,9171,1220538,00.html

International Debate Education Association. (IDEA). (2007). Stem Cells. Retrieved March 17, 2008 from

Knowles, K. (2008). Stem Cell Rubric. Retrieved March 17, 2008 from

KQED. (2008). Stem Cell Gold Rush. Retrieved March 18, 2008 from a2ClJICFQ2HHgodkSLf6A

National Institute of Health (NIH). (2006). Stem Cell Basics. Retrieved March 18, 2008 from

Thiel, J. (2007). Collaboration Rubric. Retrieved March 17, 2008 from