All about stem cells: flexible stem cell teaching tool

Last updated:
23 May 2013
All about stem cells: flexible stem cell teaching tool

All about stem cells is a flexible stem cell teaching tool that introduces stem cell science through creative group work and discussion. Includes colourful activity cards, simple worksheets, poster templates and an activity guide with a whole host of suggestions for how to use the materials. Now available to order in print.

Quick facts

Age group


Group size

Flexible; each full set of cards caters for 3-4 groups of 4 or 5 students


30 mins to 2 hours, depending on activity choice

Venue information



teacher or scientist

Audience prior knowledge

Basic awareness of what cells, embryos, genes and DNA are

Optional extras

The film A Stem Cell Story provides a good introduction to this activity. You might like to follow this activity with a discussion on the ethical issues surrounding stem cell research. Try our Points of View resource.

What people are saying about this resource

Details and instructions

Skip straight to downloads
Order print pack

Recommended by Scottish government agency Learning and Teaching Scotland as a tool for National Qualifications support


All about stem cells is a fun way to introduce students to the science of stem cells. What are stem cells? What types of stem cells are there and where do we find them? How are they used now and how might they be used in medicine in the future?

The activity guide provides detailed suggestions for how to use the materials, whether you've got 30 minutes or two hours. We've also created two versions - one for 11-14 year olds and one for students aged 16+.

In this resource
  • Colourful activity cards on four themes covering the basics of stem cell science and its potential applications
  • Simple worksheets for those who need additional guidance
  • Question sheets and poster templates
  • An activity guide full of creative ideas on how to use the materials
Topics covered

All about stem cells covers four basic themes in stem cell biology:

  1. What is a stem cell? – what stem cells can do; types of stem cell
  2. Where do embryonic stem cells come from? – the blastocyst; cell culture; IVF
  3. Why bother with stem cells? – applications now and in the future
  4. Making stem cells – induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)
Order a print pack

You can now order a print pack of All about stem cells for 16+ year olds for £5.

Order  your pack on the University of Edinburgh website


All about stem cells was created by Emma Kemp. Important contributions, advice and opportunities to pilot the activities were provided by many colleagues, teachers and students and their contributions are detailed within the activity guide. Particular thanks to Louise Guy of Bathgate Academy, Scotland, who played a major role in adapting the content for the 11-14 age group.

Photograph of two female students (top right) on this page by Feelin' Groovy Photography.

Permissions: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA

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