Biotechnology Projects and Writing Assignments
The projects and writing assignments presented can be used as an
introduction to biotechnology,
a unit of study in biotechnology, or as culminating events after the
study of biotechnology.
The projects provide a wide range of integrated topics that travel
across the curriculum while addressing the various multiple
intelligences and learning
styles that exist among students. They also provide an excellent way to
biotechnology when budget constraints prevent the use of many labs.
The purpose of the projects is to introduce students to the many areas
Today, students will be confronted with many aspects of science as they
adults. They will need a basic understanding to make adequate decisions
about such things as the innocence or guilt of a defendant, the
tests recommended, foods that are produced, or how they will be
The projects and writing assignments offer students a choice of
exploration that meets
their individual needs and interests. It is recommended that students
the options to choose, modify, or pose new projects, work individually
or in small
groups, and determine their mode of presentation (paper, computer
- Students will learn to use research tools to locate sources of
construct meaning through reading, writing, computers and other
- Students will develop their abilities to think, solve problems, and
new knowledge to create a product that represents what they have learned
in the area
1. Create a time line of biotechnology events.
2. Research how biotech corporations work in the business world and
in the stock market.
3. Investigate how biotechnology can be used to help the
4. Investigate how DNA testing will affect the judicial system.
5. Investigate what genetically engineered foods are being developed
and by what
6. Investigate current and past literature that uses biotechnology in
7. Compare plant, animal, and bacterial cell differences that lead to
in DNA extraction protocols.
8. Compile a list of states that accept or reject DNA testing.
Determine why it
is accepted or rejected in the state you live in.
9. Research the career aspects of a DNA fingerprint specialist to
requirements, duties, salary, job availability, and prospects for the
10. Investigate mathematically how the statistics are derived for the
odds of a match
on DNA fingerprinting.
11. Research to find a state where there is a DNA data bank being used
in the criminal
system. Investigate how and when the system is used.
12. Investigate why people are opposed to genetically engineered foods
and what organizations
support this stand.
13. Create a brochure for potential users of a drug developed by
14. Investigate the civil liberties of discrimination and invasion of
they apply to DNA data banks for convicted sex offenders.
15. Investigate the civil liberties of discrimination and invasion of
privacy as they
apply to the use of genetic information to determine eligibility for
16. Create an advertisement for a product created by biotechnology.
17. Investigate how DNA fingerprinting is used to solve ancient
18. Investigate how DNA fingerprinting is used to solve previously
or open a case to reevaluate evidence.
. Short Story:
Create a crime, describe how the criminal was caught when some cells
were left at
the scene of the crime and the criminal was identified by DNA
2. Defend a position:
A state Supreme Court is debating whether or not to accept DNA
fingerprints as valid
evidence. Write to one of the judges defending the use of DNA
fingerprints as evidence
in a crime or defend the position of not allowing this as evidence.
3. Explain a process:
You are a DNA technologist who must explain to a jury how a DNA
fingerprint is made
and what the odds are of matching two unrelated people.
4. Analyze or evaluate:
Analyze or evaluate the DNA fingerprint as a valid means of
5. Defend a position:
The FBI advocates DNA profiling of convicts such as sex offenders.
would then be stored in data banks for matching to tissue samples left
at crime scenes.
Defend the development of this system or oppose its development based
on discrimination and invasion of privacy.