Ms. Jody Henry’s Advanced Biology Classes Take Part in Stem Cell Debates


Ms. Jody Henry’s sixth period class gets ready for their debate.

Ellie Coppock, Staff Writer

In Ms. Jody Henry’s advanced biology classrooms, a discussion took place on November 8 and 9 that centered around stem cells. There are two types of stem cells. The first type, embryonic stem cells, are taken from a human embryo which destroys it. Embryonic stem cells can transform into any cell in the human body. This means that they can be a cure for many illnesses. The second type is adult stem cells. These cells come from a donor and are put through a process called rejuvenation. This process makes adult stem cells able to transform into many types of cells, but they are more limited than embryonic stem cells. Henry created a debate simulation about these stem cells, a fictional town called “Mutantville.” In this town, a stem cell research center called “ESC Lifeworks” wants a business license. The students are the town council members. Their position on the topic is randomly selected.

Henry made sure that the students were prepared for their debate.

“I provided students with reputable websites to begin the research, so they can’t just get anything from the internet,” said Henry.

Many students found this helpful.

“I used the suggested websites,” said freshman Daisy Sampson. “I made sure I was very prepared.”

Some students enjoyed the debate.

“It broadened my knowledge on the subject and made me see the other side of the issue,” said freshman Jillian Dean.

Students enjoyed the role-playing aspect of the project.

“I really tried to get in touch with my character,” said freshman Jeffrey Rucker. “I tried to be really emotional. It was really fun.”

Some students, however, were frustrated.

“The debate would have been better if we were allowed to ask the other students questions,” said freshman Drew Haker. “Bouncing ideas off of each other would have made it more interesting.”

Although the stem cell debate may have been “settled” in ¬†Henry’s class, stem cells are still a controversial topic.