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Lesson Plan   

    Lesson Information
    Outcomes and Standards
    Day Plans
    Enrichment Options
    Teacher Reflection

Stage 1
Identify Desired Results

Catchy Title: Ovarian Cancer Simulation: Computer Generated Simulation of an Ovarian Tumor
Theme/Topic of Lesson: The evolutionary relationship between ovarian cancer, breast cancer and the use of
Time Commitment: One 88-minute period
Subject Area(s):
    Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9,10,11,12
Standards Alignment:
Class Challenge Question: How should chemotherapy be used to treat ovarian cancer?

This this WebQuest-based unit of study on evolution and cancer will conclude with the
application of the knowledge learned to treating an ovarian cancer tumor through simulation.
Students will learn the operation of the model through a PowerPoint presentation and then
download and operate a Netlogo tumor simulation. Taxol and Carboplatin will be used as the
chemotherapeutic agents and various modalities will be tried to see how affective they are in
regressing the tumor. The model will allow students to examine the structure and function of a
malignant tumor while attempting to fashion a cure for the disease. Teachers will need some
background in biology, however, the Ovarian Tumor Simulation Presentation is designed to be taught without prior knowledge. Students must be basically computer literate to complete the
Students will work in teams of two chosen by the instructor to view and interact with the
PowerPoint presentation: “Ovarian Tumor Simulation” and complete the “Ovarian Tumor
Simulation Worksheet,” contained in the PowerPoint presentation, on their computers.  Ideally
this presentation is meant to follow the A Primer of Evolutionary Medicine WebQuest
(, the Evolution and Cancer
WebQuest  ( and the Evolution and
Ovarian Cancer WebQuest (

Stage 2
Determine Acceptable Evidence

Skills and Processes
Maryland Content Standards Indicators
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.

Learning Objectives:

The Students will:
  • Learn to operate the Tumor Simulation Model.
  • Apply chemotherapeutic agents to model in an attempt to treat ovarian cancer.
  • Develop their own experimental treatment using the simulator.

Students will be evaluated using the “Ovarian Tumor Simulation Worksheet,” which is linked to
in the “Ovarian Tumor Simulation” PowerPoint.  Written responses will be graded using the
Maryland State Department of Education science rubric for written responses. This can be found
on the Internet Website
Selected response and true/false questions will graded on correctness only.

Stage 3
Plan Learning Experiences


Print MaterialsNetLogo Manual (pdf)
Internet SitesEvolution and Ovarian Cancer (WebQuest) This Web site is the starting point of our introduction to the relationship between
evolution and cancer.  Basic terms will be defined and an evolutionary model will be
Netlogo Download Page. This page allows the downloading of the Netlogo application.

Per class
  • Network Printer
Per student team/group of 2
  • Ovarian Cancer Powerpoint  (View)
  • Computer with Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Internet Explorer
    or Netscape Navigator software installed and with Netlogo installed from

  • Carboplatin - chemotherapy agent that interferes with cancer cell division.
  • Evolution - a change in the genetic composition of a population over time.
  • Evolutionary Medicine - a new, interdisciplinary field that brings together physicians, biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and others to address questions about the evolutionary origins of many medical problems facing modern humans.
  • Metastasis - the spreading of secondary cancer cells from a primary tumor.
  • Modalities - a treatment method
  • Parent Cell - the cell from which daughter cell arise during mitosis
  • Progenitior Cell - the cell that produces progeny (off-spring).
  • Taxol - chemotherapeutic agent that interferes with with mitosis.
  • Transitory Cell - the daughter cells produced by the mitosis of the parent cell.

The students will use cooperative interaction as they investigate chemotherapeutic agents and
their affect on a simulated ovarian tumor model.

1: Evolution and Ovarian Cancer WebQuest
Daily Challenge Question: How should chemotherapy be used to treat ovarian cancer?

Set-up Directions:
Students should be organized into their cooperative groups of 2 and assigned a computer. Each
Internet-ready computer should have the "Ovarian Tumor Simulation" PowerPoint presentation
installed and opened.  Instructions should be given to begin on the Presentation page and read the
text that instructs students how to use the simulation. When at the Worksheet link, instruct
students to go begin the interactive portion of the simulation.  Ask them to use cooperative
techniques to discuss the information before they enter answers on the Worksheets. The finished
Worksheet is to be printed out or saved for evaluation.

Teacher Presentation & Motivation:
Ideally this presentation is meant to follow the A Primer of Evolutionary Medicine WebQuest
(, the Evolution and Cancer
WebQuest ( and the Evolution and
Ovarian Cancer WebQuest ( 
After examining cancer in a more abstract mode, students will have opportunity to exploit
chemotherapeutic agents to treat ovarian cancer on a simulated model.

Activity 1 - Ovarian Tumor Simulation PowerPoint Presentation
Students will be actively engaged in completing the Presentation, which will include the reading
and understanding of the included text as well as typing answers to the Worksheet developed for
the Presentation.  This activity will most likely take 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete.

Wrap Up:
Students will explain and demonstrate ovarian cancer modalities, which were developed during
the final phase of the presentation.

Enrichment Options
Community Connection
Contact local health agencies and make them aware of the cancer quest and tumor simulator
as a teaching device to instruct cancer patients about the fundamentals of the disease.

Cross-Curricular Extensions
* Computer Science
 Students could develop their own variation of the simulator after working with the Netlogo
* Technology
Students can create a PowerPoint presentation describing how their model functions.

Stage 4
Teacher Reflection

As a reflective practitioner, note how this lesson could be adjusted after its initial
implementation. How successful were the students? What did the assessment demonstrate about
the students’ learning?  What skills do the students need to revisit?  What instructional strategies
worked and what made them successful?  What will you change the next time you use this
lesson?  Why?

Author: Ark Renkwitz
Modified by: Douglas Becker
Program: BioHealthLink
Author's School System: Dorchester County Public Schools
Author's School: Cambridge-South Dorchester High