STEM vs. Disease


A free STEM curriculum for the students of Rhode Island

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Explore how cancer develops and how it can be treated through the lens of one disease—pediatric leukemia. Follow a patient’s journey from initial symptoms to life cancer-free, and meet Rhode Island experts who are making a difference in the field of cancer medicine.

Meet the STEM vs. Diseases Role Models

Sydney Marquis

Survivor of Leukemia

Surana George

A Quality Assurance Specialist at Amgen in Rhode Island.

Steve Roy

A Frontline Manager at Amgen in Rhode Island.

STEM vs. Disease—Cancer Teaches Essential Biology Concepts and

Inspires Students to Consider Rhode Island Careers in Cancer Care

Through the story of Sydney, a survivor of pediatric leukemia, you will learn about the biology and treatment of cancer, and you’ll discover that there are many more careers involved in cancer care than you ever imagined. Sydney was diagnosed at the age of 11. You’ll hear about her initial experiences and steps when confronted with a cancer diagnosis, learn about the progression of the disease and her treatment options, and see how she’s living her life cancer-free and using her experiences to advocate for other patients and survivors. You’ll meet Rhode Island career role models who work in fields related to cancer care, and you’ll realize that there is a wide array of careers that use diverse skill sets to help cancer patients—more than doctors and nurses are needed! Along the way, you’ll delve into the basic molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to the development of cancer, getting a fundamental understanding of the medical reality of Sydney’s journey and the work of Rhode Island cancer care specialists.

Lesson Descriptions

Introduction: A Patients Journey

What is it like to face cancer? Meet Sydney, a cancer survivor, and hear about her initial experiences and steps when confronted with a cancer diagnosis at the age of 11.

SVD Lesson 1
Lesson 1: How Does Cancer Develop?

How do normal cells become cancer cells, and how does cancer develop? Uncover the intricate biological mechanisms of these processes.

SVD Lesson 2
Lesson 2: Treating Cancer

Once cancer is diagnosed, how is it treated? Explore treatment options based on the specific diagnosis and the progression of disease.

Conclusion: A Brighter Future

Hear about the conclusion of Sydney’s journey and her bright prospects for the future. Then show what you’ve learned about medical treatment of disease!

This curriculum made possible through a Real Jobs Rhode Island grant in partnership with RI Bio

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