Part of Unit: The Role of Biotechnology
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
In this lab students learn how biotechnology has advanced the production and diversity of cheese. Students will compare curdling time and yield of 4 different curdling agents, one of which is a product of biotech. This lesson is adapted from Ellyn Daugherty's curriculum Biotechnology for the New Millenium.
- One period of
- 115 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.A3.1 Understand recombinant DNA, genetic engineering, monoclonal antibody production,...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.11-12.R.VCD.1.2 Apply knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon roots and affixes to draw infer...2
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.3 Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched.2
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis...3
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
- M.4.SDAP.1.3 Interpret one- and two-variable data graphs to answer questions about a situation.1
- M.7.AF.1.5 Represent quantitative relationships graphically and interpret the meaning of a ...31
Objectives and Goals
- Determine which curdling agent produces cheese the fastest
- Determine which curdling agent produces the most cheese.
- Examine numerical data to support predictions
- Examine variables that can lead to invalid experiments
Activities in this Lesson
- Introduction to Cheese - Hooks / Set
Teacher has different types of cheese, preferably those produced by genetically engineered enzymes such as jack, mozzarella, swiss cheese, etc. Ask students the following questions:
Have you ever eaten these cheeses before?
How is cheese made?
Who makes cheese?
How has cheese making changed over the years?
What do you think this has to do with biotechnology?
The point is to get students to think how large the demand for cheese is, and how, if a product can be made that improves the process, it could have a large market.
- Cheese Lab.pdf [ Download ] This is a copy of the Lab written by Ellyn Daugherty. Have students read the background in the lab. If using a lab journal, have students paste copies of the diagrams in them.
- How cheese is made? - Demo / Modeling
Students read the background on how cheese is made. Things to emphasize with students:
Cheese is created when enzymes break down the protein casein found in milk.
The enzyme found in the calf's stomachs is called rennin, which is produced only when they are young and nursing. This enzyme specializes in breaking casein and other similar proteins. Alternatively, the recombinant kind is called chymosin, and is produced when the gene for rennin is inserted into a fungus, and grown in large quantities. Without these enzymes, you can rely on bacteria to produce enzymes that will also cleave the protein.
The enzymes are specialized proteins that are coded for in DNA. These proteins, like others, may only be produced in specialized cells.
- Compare curdling agents - Lab / Shop
Working in groups of 4, students make cheese. Each student experiments with each of the curdling agents, plus a control. Students record their data on their handout.
- Cheese Lab [ Download ] This is the student handout with the overview of the lab procedure and data table.
- Assessment Types:
- Writing Samples, , Graphing
Using graph paper or Microsoft Excel, produce two graphs: One showing the average volume of curds produced by each enzyme, and one showing average time to curdling.
Students reflect on which curdling agent is the fastest and produces the most cheese. When writing the conclusion, students write as if they were an employee at a biotech company asked to report back to their supervisor on the success of their experperiment. Students should give reccommendations on what curdling agent the "company" should invest future research and development, citing evidence from the lab to support their recommendations.