Part of Unit: The Role of Biotechnology
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
The field of biotechnology is changing rapidly. Everyday significant new discoveries are bringing new products to market. Staying current on these advances makes for a better lab technician, informed voter, etc. Students will use scientific databases and perform Internet research on current events. Students will summarize what they have learned and share it with their peers.
- One period
- 60 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- HSMT.A.A1.1 Understand the role of the biotechnology industry and its impact on society.
- HSMT.A.A1.2 Understand the role of biotechnology product development in curing genetic, envi...
- HSMT.A.A1.3 Understand the legal and ethical issues regarding the use of biotechnology to cu...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.LS.2.3f Apply appropriate interviewing techniques that compile and report responses.
- ELA.9-10.W.RT.1.3 Use clear research questions and suitable research methods (e.g., library, elect...2
- S.9-12.IE.1.l Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concep...
- S.9-12.IE.1.m Investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyz...
Objectives and Goals
- Understand the four major domains in biotechnology (diagnostic, medical/pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial/environmental).
- Use technology and library databases to stay current in events shaping and arising in the biotechnology industry.
- Share research and current events with peers.
Activities in this Lesson
- Informed Voting - Hooks / Set
Start class by handing each student an unsealed envelope. In the envelope is a ballot. Tell students to go to their seats and vote. Have the classroom already set up so students may not see how one another votes. Tell students to quickly vote first and then fill out the questions below the voting ballot.
Have a discussion on how being informed on current events might make for better voting. This will vary according to class beliefs, but allow students time to reflect on this voting experience. Responses should include knowing more specifics on genetically engineered livestock (as in positive and negative effects), understanding current rules in genetic screening and or understanding the diseases being screened for, etc.
Discuss as a class other benefits to staying current in the biotechnology field. Students should associate current events with items like sharing research, better safety and lab knowledge, better consumers, etc.
- BiotechVotingBallot [ Download ] The ballot you hand each student as they enter class.
- Student Separation - Lecture
Go over with the class the four biotechnology domains. Have students quietly read the "Biotechnology Domains" handout which has been glued into legal scientific notebooks. Call on four students to read each section outloud. Call on other student volunteers to give known examples for each domain. Students should take notes and actively read on the handout.
Assign students a domain according to birthdate. For example, if their birthday falls between January through March, students are to focus on industrial/environmental biotechnology. If their birthday falls between April through June, students are to focus on diagnostic biotechnology. If their birthdate falls between July through September, students are to focus on medical/pharmaceutical biotechnology. Finally, if their birthdate falls between October through December, students are to focus on agricultural biotechnology. The teacher may pick other methods to determine student focus. It may be based on the dominant color in the student's shirt (i.e. black focuses on diagnostic) or distance the student lives from school (i.e. within 2 miles students focus on diagnostic), etc.
- Biotechnology Domains [ Download ]
- Current Event - Projects
Go over the handout "Current Events in Biotechnology." Have students actively read, highlight and take notes as the class goes over the handout.
Students are to complete tasks #1-5 on the handout. For item #1, students are to go to websites looking for current events in the assigned biotechnology domain. I emphasize the websites on the handout to the students as a starting point as many stduents want to go straight to Google. These websites are www.bio-link.org, www.biospace.com, www.accessexcellence.org, and www.bio.org.
Make sure to focus on the methods of printing to avoid wasting valuable ink and paper. Some teachers skip the printing of the article and have students write the URL address. In this case, students must write a summary as well as specifically stating the three main points of the article.
Teachers may decide to have students work solo or in pairs. This decision may be based on computer availability. If students pair up, they must pair with another student focusing on the same domain.
Once the first current event has been completed in class, future current events may be completed as homework. Students benefit most from completing current events at least once a quarter during the school year.
- Sharing Current Events - Group Work
Have students turn to the next blank page of their legal scientific notebooks. They are to make a chart in their notebook with three columns. The first column is the title of the current event. The second column is the domain the current event focuses on. The final column is one interesting fact from the current event.
Have students find one person for each domain. They must find one for their own domain as well. At the end of this share time, students should have shared information on four current events.
- Final 3 Minutes - Closure
Have students return to their voting ballot. Students may or may not have focused or learned more about the topics from the voting ballot. Ask students if they have changed their minds on any of the issues they voted on. Students should add to what they wrote in the first five minutes of class on the voting ballot houndout.
- Assessment Types:
- Projects, Journals, Observations,
Students are assessed on three items:
1. The completion of the voting ballot that started and ended the class period. Teachers can check for completion on the day of class by stamping the assignment or they can check the completion of the assignment when the legal scientific notebooks are collected. Student beliefs are not graded on, only completion of handout with thoughtful responses below the voting.
2. Students are given points for participating every day. There are many places where students can contribute to class discussion, including adding known examples in the biotechnology domains, reading aloud, asking clarifying questions, etc. I base student participation on a rubric which I give students after the first 4 weeks of school. After that point, students are evaluated on participation every quarter.
3. Students are graded on the current event. Since I have students print and glue in the current even to legal scientific notebooks, I grade current events based on 10 points: 4 points for the doing hte researcha nd finding, printing and gluing out the current event article, 3 points for a valuable summary and 3 points for the 3 main points (one point each). In order to receive points, responses must be in complete sentences and not plagarized.
- Participation Rubric [ Download ]