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In the context of an engaging case study, students express their initial impressions of biotechnology, clarify their understanding of what it is all about and investigate its past and present impacts on society as well as their own lives. Lessons and activities are organized into 3 parts or sections.
MINDS ON: Students read a short case study that describes how Mia, an environmentally-conscious high school student feels about biotechnology. The reading is followed by a Graffiti Exercise designed to reveal the students’ present attitudes and understanding of the process. A video is then provided to summarize the nature of biotechnology and the range of products it provides.
ACTION: Students review a biotechnology time-line and backgrounders on Genomics and Applications of Biotechnology. Using a graphic organizer, they individually identify 3 biotech innovations of interest that have been developed during their lifetime. These are shared with the other students. The class then tries to reach consensus on the top 3.
CONSOLIDATION: Students complete a Poster Project to communicate the relevance of biotechnology for society today. The target audience is their peer group. The content and design is determined by the students. A student guide and assessment rubric is included.
Access to all supplementary resources and support materials needed to complete the activities has been provided.
This STEM resource provides an engaging introduction to biotechnology. It's intent is to inform and interest the students in biotechnology and its impact on their lives. It is not intended as a comprehensive or in-depth examination of the technology itself. R4R.ca offers a number of other lessons and videos for use following this introduction.
Concerns about the promise and safety of biotechnology are raised in the case study but not included in the video and backgrounders used in the lessons. There are additional lesson plans and videos available in this database that can be used along with Mia's Case to better represent alternate perspectives.
This resource will support those curriculum areas in Science and Biology that address cell chemistry, DNA and genetic continuity. It offers an especially effective introduction to biotechnology.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Satisfactory|
The case study raises concerns for biotechnology and provides opportunity for students to express their opinions. From this point on attention is directed at the contributions of Biotechnology.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
This STEM resource is primarily dedicated to promoting an understanding of biotechnology and its role in society today. Backgrounders and student activities so focus on the environmental, economic and social dimensions of biotechnology.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
While introductory in its design, the resource does communicate the complexity of the technology and some of the issues related to it.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
A a student-designed poster project to consolidate learning and communicate findings to others is a core activity of this resource.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Very Good|
There are numerous opportunities, including the poster project activity, for students to clarify and express their perspectives on the role of biochemistry in today's society.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
The role of biotechnology in addressing many of our concerns for the natural world is a point of emphasis in this resource.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
A real effort is made to illustrate how biotechnology has impacted students during their lifetime.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
The timeline activity specifically highlights past, present and future applications of biotechnology.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The lessons are designed for students to analyze and reflect on the information they are presented with.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is a STEM resource that successfully illustrates how biotechnology involves the integration of these distinct disciplines. The activities however do not require the students to practice or demonstrate competency in all four.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students are involved in several different learning activities that include reading, viewing, listening/discussing and creating.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The students are given the task of communicating their perspectives by completing a poster project. However, the resource would be much improved with the inclusion of an opportunity to carry out or practice biotechnology techniques themselves.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
Suggestions for assessment are included with each lesson. A rubric accompanies the student poster project.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
The poster project is aimed at informing and influencing others.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The resource relies on an engaging case study to introduce biotechnology and begin the discussion of what it's all about.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Students are given the task of creating a poster project. The content and format is up to the individual.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|