The Val Skinner Foundation, Discovery Education, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers School of Public Health Promote Nationwide Effort to Decode Cancer

Nationwide Effort to Inspire Science Literacy, Cancer Education and Awareness Among STEM-Motivated Youth
Mar 28, 2018 12:15 PM ET
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The Val Skinner Foundation, Discovery Education, the LIFE Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Rutgers School of Public Health are committed to supporting the study of cancer in the classroom. To achieve this, the organizations have collaborated to inspire science literacy and cancer awareness among high school students across the United States.

Decoding Cancer, a comprehensive biology and genetics education program launched in 2016, provides standards-aligned, interactive classroom resources to students and families nationwide to help them understand the “science behind cancer.” Decoding Cancer is powered by BioCONECT (Biology of Cancer, Online Education Connecting Teens), an inquiry-based biology curriculum for high school students developed by the LIFE Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Val Skinner Foundation.

Through the program, students develop problem-solving and decision-making skills with real-life applications, apply their knowledge of biology, expand their understanding of genetics, explore relationships between science and technology, and learn about health-related careers. Decoding Cancer resources are available to students in 50 states across the country and the program teaches students how cancer develops, helps them to identify risk factors for cancer and allows them to investigate ways to reduce cancer risk.

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. Decoding Cancer facilitates meaningful discussions about this important topic through a powerful combination of digital resources, including: interactive lesson plans, health and biomedical career profiles and family discussion guidance.

In addition, an immersive virtual lab allows students to act as virtual physicians and technicians as they conduct a series of tests, gather data, and analyze the results to learn more about their patient’s cancer diagnosis and advise on the best course of treatment. This one-of-a-kind resource teaches students about the tests doctors use to help them make precise recommendations around the treatment of breast cancer.

To learn more about Decoding Cancer, visit