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Innovation & Tech

Engineering Our Lives

We live in a highly modified world. In this unit you will examine the complex topic of genetic engineering in your own life and community. Explore the driving question: How might we be more aware of the genetic engineering in our lives?

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Recommended Timeframe: 2-3 months

We live in a highly modified world. In this unit you will explore the complex topic of genetic engineering in your own life and community. After examining visible inheritance in families, you will take a closer look at how traits are transferred at the cellular level. Then you will apply these concepts to the plants and animals we consume as you study selective breeding and genetic modification. Next you will explore the frontiers of genetic engineering, cloning and epigenetics, paying particular attention to the effect they have on economy, culture, and ecology.  Additionally you will engage in conversations in order to determine the benefits and drawbacks of each technology. In the end you will understand that your community is rich with knowledge, experience, and resources that can help you learn and make an impact, even about topics as complex as genetic engineering.

Key Topics

  • Plan and design a Community Impact Project
  • Design the perfect monster and give it a resource challenge
  • Model family inheritance of traits
  • Extract DNA using beans and soap
  • Examine the change in appearance of fruits over time
  • Find genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in your home and the local market
  • Explain cloning and epigenetics to others and get their thoughts on pros and cons of them