In my Year 10 team we have been developing new applied science topics. The current one we are doing is around Biotechnology.
It started with an exploration of Ethics in Biotechnology. Are genetically modified organisms (GMO) good or bad? Initially I posed a few questions and scenarios for them. What a debate erupted. It was great to see students questioning and wondering what repercussions could unfold. This lesson students came out with more questions than I could (or they could suggest); but what a great way to get them thinking about the future and the decisions their generation might have to face.
It raised questions about what we have been doing for centuries. We selectively breed animals or plants based on the best chances for the next generation to be favourable - isn't that a type of genetic manipulation?
Our prac is a very exciting one. We are genetically modifying bacteria to fluoresce. We use a gene from a jellyfish and insert it into a bacteria cell using plasmids - see below