Lesson Plan: The Future Of the Biotech Industry
The genie is out of the bottle, the cat is out of the bag and the seeds of genetically modified species have now entered our environment. The questions now before us are numerous and growing.
Present the following questions to students:
What are the short term and long term effects of GMOs on our health?
Is it possible to regulate the industry? Is it necessary?
What is the economic impact of biotechnology?
Do we really need biotechnology to survive as a species?
What moral obligations do biotech industries have to developing nations?
Should testing of products be done over longer time periods?
What are the dangers in using biotechnology to create new species? What are the military applications for this industry?
Are there terrorist possibilities with this technology?
Students will choose one of these questions, or a question of their own, and research it in depth on the Internet. They will create a presentation based on their research. Presentations should include a history component and possible future scenarios as well as a personal opinion on the topic.
Students can work alone or with a partner. They should begin their research with the topic Genetically Modified Food: A Growing Debate on the CBC Digital Archives website, particularly the clips titled "Identifying genetically modified products", "The next generation of GM food," and "The first global conference on GM food". They should expand to other online resources, being certain to cite each source consulted or used.
Students present their topic to the class, and then chair an open forum for opinions created by the presentation. Students write a series of recommendations based on the presentations for regulating the biotech industry.