History of Medicine: History of Cancer CAL Project

For a little over a month, almost 2 months, my CAL class has been working on a project called History of Medicine. Each group received an era, or a theme, such as Chinese Medicine, Native American, Egyptian, Surgery, and so on. My group picked History of Cancer. At first, I was a little disappointed. The theme I wanted was being used in another class, and I was really hoping to do that theme. But Cancer turned out to be a lot of fun. I learned some new things, I created friendships with the people in my group. It was a blast. Last Saturday, my friend Tara, also in History of Medicine, came over so that we could finish the major components of our exhibit. With the History of Medicine project, you create a visual for your exhibit. Such as, if you have Chinese medicine, you could do a visual of someone having acupuncture therapy done. (Not real, but laying a layer of skin colored clay on one's back, and inserting toothpicks into the clay to make it look like one is having acupuncture therapy). With Cancer, it was a little harder to come up with a visual, then one day, Tara brought us into the computer lab and showed us what our visual can be. A radiation arch. This is the picture that she, and we were inspired by. 
Anyway, so she came over, and we busted out the project. We started with the History of Cancer of sign. 
We wanted glitter, because we are girls, and we wanted it big, so everybody could see it. 
The sign looked great when we were done. Then we made the ribbon board... again... and we made our timeline. Our time line and ribbon board turned out just how we wanted them to look. It was great. Then it was time to tackle the radiation arch. How we made the radiation arch is very simple. We took long cardboard pieces and curved them. We hot glued soda can halves and poked holes in the bottom. We poked holes in the cardboard, strung lights through the holes in the soda cans, and we made it light up. We covered the top of the first cardboard piece with a second cardboard piece so that the visitors couldn't see the wires and cords from the lights. Then Tara had a dream. My teacher said we would start dreaming about  our projects and Tara dreamed up something that really helped. She had the dream/idea of cutting a hoola-hoop in half and taping/gluing the hoola-hoop to the inside of the arch to keep it curved and stable. IT HELPED A LOT. We cut a hoola-hoop (without a saw,  we did it with a knife. I am proud of myself...) and we taped the hoola-hoop to the arch and it looked great. It was stable, it wasn't going anywhere. It looked great. 6 & 1/2 hours, we got everything done. Mostly, there were still a few little things we had to finish and complete, but the majority of our exhibit was finished. 
On Monday, presentation day. We were all nervous. Everybody is my group kept telling me to calm down and just breathe. I couldn't really do that because I was seeing everybody else's exhibit, and they were full of cool things. And then I thought, our exhibit is so bare... we have nothing... we have signs and an arch and ribbons to hand out. (Lavender ribbons... lavender represents all cancers). Then I reminded myself that we have cancer. What else could we possibly add to this exhibit. We aren't cave people, we didn't have prehistoric medicine. We aren't Egyptian, we aren't Chinese medicine. We have History of Cancer... more informational than visual. 
We finally got everything done. We set it up, and we got in our costumes. Kaylee got in the arch, acting as our cancer patient and everything ran smoothly. We knew our information, and people were happy to take a ribbon, and we were confident about our exhibit. That was during the pre-walk through, when the seniors and IT students of CAL walked through and saw each exhibit. That part was boring, because the students didn't care... or didn't ask questions. They walked right by ours and didn't even bother to look in. It was a little disappointing and nerve racking. I kept thinking, 'Our exhibit is boring... our exhibit is plain...' and then Tara, as if she was reading my mind, said, 'The kids don't really care. It's the teachers and adults we have to impress.'. Just then, a teacher came by and started asking us questions and we were motivated after that. 
Here are some pictures before the big exhibit. Before the parents came to CAL and walked through our exhibits. 
Here is Kaylee in the arch. Our 'lung cancer patient'.
Our arch was a little lop sided at some angles... but it really looked great! It looked even better with the lights off. I think they turned off the lights in our area just for that. It looked almost just like the picture we based the arch on. We were really happy with how it turned out. Above the arch, we quickly added some last minute X-rays of tumors. During the parents walk through, we would point to the one directly above Kaylee, a Lung cancer tumor and we would say, "This is what our patient has. She is in the radiation arch so that her tumor will shrink." I thought we sounded scholarly... or at least smart. We knew our information. 
The X-rays really added to our exhibit, the whole group agreed on that. 
Then it became 6:00. We were back at CAL, putting the finishing touches on our exhibit. I brought a label, and labeled the radiation arch. We re-positioned the signs so people could see them better. Tara and I were twinning. Kaylee, Tara and I were twinning. All in our slacks, our lavender tank tops, and white button up sweaters.  We were cute. Tara and Kaylee are so cute, I look like a little kid... ha. I like my hair, but I think it looks too long in this picture. (Getting it cut this week).
The walk through was great! So many people came to see our exhibit. My parents, my grandparents, my aunt, my cousins, I ended up having 15 people show up for me. Our teacher said that we get 5 points extra credit PER PERSON we invite to the exhibit. They have to show up, and write their names in a book, and they have to write who they are there for so we can earn the extra credit. It was great! Toward the end of the walk through, two people from each group could walk around. We switched off too, but I had to take my heels off. I borrowed my mom's heels, they fit me fine, it was just the toe part was so narrow, that it pinched my toes. I took off the heels while I walked around and my toes were stinging. It happens to my mom too. Ugh, it felt really good to take the heels off. When we had five minutes left of the exhibit, when the crowd died down, Tara and I each took turns in the radiation arch. We wanted to be in the finished arch. It was so cool! 
We really did a good job on that thing. 
I am proud of my group. The walk through had so many people! There was line to get into the forum (Our CAL lunch room, where the exhibits were being presented). My teacher said that close to 500 people showed up to see our exhibits. WOW! That's a lot of people. It was all at different times of course, but that's a lot of people to fit in the forum. It was really fun. I'd do it again... maybe with a different theme, but I'd totally do it again. I enjoyed it. The people who came to see my exhibit all said that the walk through was pretty interesting. It was interesting. Lots of things to see, lots of talented and smart kids behind the work. Lots of history and facts. They all enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too. 
Now to show my smarts! The most interesting thing I learned during our project was that in 1951, there was black woman who's name was Henrietta Lacks. She had cervical cancer and some doctors took some cancer cells from her without her consent. She died shortly after, but her cancer cells are still alive today because cancer cells keep reproducing themselves. That is how cancer is created. You damage your cells by having too much of something, say smoking. The smoke and the chemicals damage your cells. This doesn't kill off your cells, it makes them multiply copiously. When your cells multiply copiously, that is now cancer. Anyway, the cells are still alive today and they are called HELA. Taken the first two letters of Henrietta's first name, and the first two letters of her last name. Her cells are used in hospitals all over the world, in research for creating vaccines and to help find the cure for cancer. 
That was so interesting to me. What was weird is that during when we were researching for our project, researching information, we never came across Henrietta's story. We were told by a substitute teacher for our Health Science class. We felt kind of stupid that we didn't know what she was talking about, but after she told us, we did some research on it and we had to include this in our project. It really is a remarkable piece of information, a remarkable story. 
The History of Medicine, exhibit walk through was a great night!  
Thank you, and good job to my wonderful group members. We pulled it off :) 
And THANK YOU to everyone who showed up! I really appreciate it and I am so glad you were able to make it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!