Document Type


Publication Date



The goal of this lesson is to present the basic scientific knowledge about stem cells, the promise of stem cell research to medicine, and the ethical considerations and arguments involved. One of the challenges of discussing stem cell research is that the field is constantly evolving and the most current information changes almost daily. Few science texts contain stem cell information, and those that do are generally written at a reading level above that of a typical middle grade student. In the lesson, students are introduced to the FIRES strategy and given an opportunity to evaluate stem cell information from multiple sources using this technique. The FIRES strategy is an acronym the author uses to help students analyze problems. Facts, Incidents, Reasons, Examples, or Statistics are the components of this acronym, and the phrase, "Set FIRES to it!" has become the author's way of telling students how to approach a problem and make a decision about it.


This article was originally published in Science Scope, volume 28, issue 8, in 2005.

Peer Reviewed



National Science Teachers Association



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.