Check out St. Ambrose students coding with cancer research!

By ‘Sam’ Boyer/special to
on September 26, 2016 at 11:35 AM, updated September 26, 2016 at 11:36 AM

BRUNSWICK, Ohio – When sixth grade students at Saint Ambrose School arrived at their science class on Sept. 21, they were excited to learn they were going to be cancer research scientists for the day.

They were informed they were going to receive lung cancer tissue sample imagery and they were required to research and use computer programming to determine which form of lung cancer they were investigating.

The students collaborated in groups to research the various forms of lung cancer using a code library. They coded using sensing to collect data in lists. After they completed those tasks they were able to determine if their tissue samples were small cell or non small cell lung cancer.

Students also learned about cancer research careers and how to be a cancer research scientist through tissue sample investigation, research, data collection and analysis. A special guest was Jennifer Seidel, form Solutions Behavioral Health. She presented statistics, a video demonstration and lunch cancer props that included lungs, teeth and phlegm that had been exposed to smoking.

“I was impressed by the Saint Ambrose sixth grade students,” Seidel said. They were very knowledgeable about the two different lung cancer cells covered in the presentations, along with the symptoms and effects of smoking.”

The STEM project was possible through the collaboration of science teacher Laurie Hamzik and computer science teacher, Lori Schlueter. Hamzik recently taught the students about cell division and how sells may transform into cancer. Schlueter was able to use that background knowledge and implement it using her coding by focusing on lung cancer cells. English language arts teacher, Melissa Stern was also able to collaborate by having student write about the coding with cancer cells lesson. The students were able to reflect on what they had learned and how they could help someone with lung cancer.

Student Kelra Kirpatrick said, “I found it interesting that the lungs are so different. By doing only a simple thing (smoking), it can do so much damage.

The teachers all agreed that the lesson had a great impact on the students.