There is a lot of resistance to genetic modification and the use of genetically modified crops. What is the science? This unit helps to provide some background in cell function and DNA properties, helping students to understand how genetic modification can make a difference. The developments in biotechnology are highlighted and students create a marketing campaign for GMO’s.
Students research developments in DNA technology, (lesson plan developed and supplied by the United Soybean Board/soy checkoff) and use scientifically supported benefits of GMO’s to create an ad campaign to promote them.
In order to understand the complexity of genetic modification and the variety of jobs in biotechnology, students must have some background knowledge of cell biology and DNA. Cells have a variety of functions and house many organelles. Cells are specialized in multicellular organisms in order to carry out complex functions essential for life. The constant in all cells is DNA. DNA is a molecule in the shape of a double helix, which controls all cellular functions within a cell and in the organism. All life is a result of the recombination of DNA, and the genes coded on each strand, either through mitosis, where mutation determines variation, or meiosis where recombination is the primary determiner of variation. Humans have manipulated DNA throughout history by choosing organisms with favorable traits. As biotechnology has advanced, and genomes have been mapped, humans have found other ways to manipulate singular genes and insert those genes into different organisms to make medicines, vaccines, and to help them resist pests, or other environmental pressures.
Next gen standards
Science and engineering practices
Planning and carrying out investigations
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Structure and function
Disciplinary core ideas/content
LS1A Structure and Function
LS1C Organization for matter and energy flow in organisms
How will we feed 9 billion people? Grow soybeans using Round-Up Ready seeds to illustrate how biotechnology can be used as a tool to increase production. Introduce students to different options for growing soybeans, investigate no-till farming …
How do we solve the problems created by 9 billion people? How will we feed 9 billion on about the same amount of land? An introduction to genetic engineering through hands-on and modeling activities that illustrate concepts, which will scaffold student understanding for lab activities to follow, especially focused on the use of bacteria.
How do we impact natural resources by our activities? This unit helps meet some of the AFNR curriculum standards for natural resources. Students will learn how to test texture and other physical characteristics of soil, conduct water quality tests, …