Cancer Project: How can you get a cancer gene and how could it lead to cancer?

This year more than 1,660,000[1] people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer.  For the patients and families of patients this is a difficult and scary time, full of unanswered questions.  While new and existing treatments provide hope and survival for many patients, still hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. die each year after fighting cancer.   In most situations, different cancer types have different causes; many of these cancers are caused by a gene whether it be inherited or mutated.  But how could you actually get a gene that can cause cancer?  Is it something you receive from your parents, caused by an experience you have, or something else?  This project will investigate the question of how you could get a cancer gene and how it could actually lead to cancer.


You will work in a team to develop a lesson (script) about cancer.    TED-Ed Lessons start with an interesting idea or question. The Lesson should serve as a hook that challenges the viewer to want to learn more about the subject area!

A few tips on writing TED-Ed lessons:

You will read your scripts out loud to the class on the final day (if you would like to add pictures/visualizations/puppetry, that would be great), and the top two scripts from each class will be submitted to TED-Ed via  this form.   If your script gets chosen, your team may have the opportunity to work with TED-Ed animators and get your scripts created and published online. 

Ted Ed Cancer Project Rubric

[1] 2013 American Cancer Society Inc. Cancer Facts and Statistics. August 20, 2013.