Teacher information about the unit.
Students study cell parts and cell function, then create a cell analogy.
Students use Punnett squares to predict offspring crosses, then create a fictional animal.
Students complete a DNA extraction from strawberries.
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.
Students research information on Biotech-related careers and present to peers.
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.