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?


  • 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.  

Curriculum author

Jane Hunt

Education Consultant at Education Projects & Partnerships LLC at Education Projects & Partnerships LLC.




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