Soybeans: from ballast to biotech

What is the future of biotechnology?
Create models to understand DNA and the gene transfer process used in biotechnology. Explore questions: Are there harmful side effects of biotechnology? Can biotech solve world hunger? Should GMO foods be labeled? See teacher background →


# Knowledge Check

What do you know about Biotechnology? Have students use the Knowledge Check to show what they know about this topic.
Answers: 1: B, 2: E, 3: B, 4: D, 5: D, 6: C, 7: E.


# DNA and Protein Synthesis

Simulate the steps of protein synthesis using note card models to create “mini-proteins.”


# Building Proteins Using Blocks

Use the amino acid sequence created in Lesson 2, to build a small protein using Duplo™ or Lego® blocks, simulating secondary protein structure.


# Recombinant DNA and Pop Beads

Demonstrate how restriction enzymes work to isolate a desirable gene from an organism using pop-beads.


# The Debate: Take a Point of View

Explore this issue from different points of view to understand a variety of perspectives. Students do research and prepare speeches, position papers and presentations.


Teacher background

The science of biotechnology has the potential to solve many food security issues, but there are different points of view about the application of this technology.  

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Next gen science standards

Science and engineering practices

  • Developing and using models
  • Engaging in argument from evidence

Crosscutting concepts

  • Structure and function

Disciplinary core ideas/content

  • LS1A Structure and Function
  • LS3A Inheritance of traits
  • LS3B Variations of traits
  • LS4D Biodiversity and humans
  • ETS2 Links among Engineering, technology, science and society
  • ETS2A Interdependence of science, engineering and technology
  • ETS2B Influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world

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