SCI: Skin Cancer Investigation gives you the opportunity to learn about skin cancer diagnosis and prevention. It is divided into two sections. An introductory section walks you through the basic biology of healthy skin and then goes on to further explore the types of skin cancer, the causes of skin cancer, and the means of lowering skin cancer risk. The second section provides two practical and engaging applications of the information covered in the tutorial section. In this section, assume the role of an employee in a fictional skin cancer lab called Glowell Labs. In the Lab, you can screen skin samples, identify symptoms, and determine whether samples are cancerous. Or field phone calls from patients concerned about skin cancer risks in the Helpdesk.
This interactive is part of the Skin Deep Project, which examines the science behind skin. Skin Deep is developed by AAAS and funded by Neutrogena.
Before using the resource, you may wish to discuss sun protection with the class. Discuss whether or not the students use sunscreen and how they use it. Then ask students to view the resource and note anything they've learned that counters their previous ideas about sun protection and how it works. This is important because during early adolescence, sun protection steadily declines as tan-seeking behaviors and pro-tanning attitudes increase, according to the National Cancer Institute. One study found that only 35% of middle-school students protected themselves from sun damage, and 75% of teens had sunburns in the previous summer.
The Science NetLinks lesson, Skin Cancer 1: Exposing Healthy Skin to the Sun, helps walk students through the first part of the interactive and contains a student esheet as a guide. Skin Cancer 2: Types, Prevention, and Detection marshals students through the second part of the interactive and also contains a student esheet to help facilitate learning.
Additional related Science NetLinks lessons will help to provide more context for the information covered in this interactive. They include links to science and health standards, as well as activities to integrate these concepts into science lessons on cells, cancer, and other related topics such as body systems.