Molecular Biology – A PBL Unit for AP Biology

This unit plan was designed as a result of my externship experience at BASF during the summer or 2013.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about the results of that externship.

And here’s a video I made to thank the scientists at BASF for working with me for the two weeks that I was there.

Essential Questions
  • What is the primary source of heritable information, and how are cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the expression of this heritable information?
  • How can genetic engineering techniques manipulate the heritable information of DNA?
Topics covered
  • plasmid construction
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • bacterial and plant transformation
  • restriction enzymes
  • gel electrophoresis
  • plant physiology
  • GMO crops

The GMO Debate: A stations-based lesson for AP Biology

The Transgenic Crop Debate (Click for links to all stations materials)

What are the pros and cons surrounding GMO crops?

Students must complete station 5 stations (approximately 15 minutes each) to investigate the GMO/Organic food debate. Students should be instructed to pay special attention to the sources of the information and examine these sources for reliability and bias.

Culminating task
  1. What was a misconception you had about GMO foods? About organic foods?
  2. Before this investigation, would you say that you leaned more towards GMOs, organic, or no preference? How about now?
  3. What do you notice about the “facts” you have encountered based on the sources from which they originated?