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Educator Toolkit

The Jim Allison: Breakthrough Educator Toolkit is a companion resource for teaching the film in the classroom. It includes lessons, discussion questions, research and lab activities, and opportunities to explore careers in the fields of science and medicine. These activities can be used or adapted for use in high school, college, and post-secondary classrooms and are written to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 


Educators can sign up below to purchase an educational screening license. 

“This film will inspire your students and foster discussion not only about the science behind immunotherapy against cancer, but also about the process of science as a human endeavor and how dreaming big and working hard pays off in the end.”

Maia Larios-Saiz, Ph.D

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology University of St. Thomas

Lessons and Labs

We have divided the film up into 3 classroom-period-friendly segments that can be watched separately and have a set of companion activities.

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Intro to Cancer

Part I will introduce your students to cancer, Dr. Jim Allison, and the beginning of his quest to find a cure. 

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Immune System

Part II demonstrates the persistence of Dr. Allison's breakthrough discovery about the immune system.

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From Discovery to Rollout

Part III spotlights the trials and tribulations it takes to get this breakthrough discovery to patients. 

Career Exploration

Breakthrough spotlights many different careers in the scientific field that can inspire your students. The following activities provide an opportunity to explore the many ways students pursue the sciences as well as the diversity of individuals in the field. 


An activity to explore the various careers featured in the film and in the field of cancer science.


Learn more about current scientists fighting cancer and their paths into the field.

Bonus Materials

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Discussion Guide


Biology Corner




Lessons & Labs



US Biolympiad Q&A


TriBeta Q&A



Sharmallison Scholarship

Abraham's Tent, Inc. is an education non-profit started by Dr. Padmanee Sharma and Dr. Jim Allison dedicated to providing an education that supports future success and equal opportunities for children in need in Guyana and the United States. Through donations from the Sharmallison Fund, Abraham's Tent is pleased to offer scholarships of up to $10,000 each to high school seniors who will attend a college, university, or vocational school the following fall. 

Sign Up to Screen the Film with Your Class

Educational and community screening licenses for Jim Allison: Breakthrough are available through our distribution partner Collective Eye Films.  The following opportunies are available:

  • University & College DVD with PPR*

  • K-12, Public Libraries with PPR

  • Digital Site License

  • DVD+DSL (with PPR)

  • Community Screenings

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