DNA Extraction

Creating a Transgenic Plant Pamphlet

Case Study: Bt Corn Pollen and the Monarch Butterfly

Designing a System to Ensure GE Agricultural Safety.

Debate: Are Monarchs at Risk From Bt Corn?

Poster: Designing a New Genetically Engineered Food Product

Position Paper: GE Safety

Student Survey

Resistance vs. Susceptibility

Plant Breeding and Predicting Offspring Traits

Poster: Designing a New Genetically Engineered Food Product

By Patty Hain - croptechnology.unl.edu

Many things must be considered when creating a new genetically engineered crop. What will be the benefits of this new product? What testing will be needed to address safety concerns? What will be consumer opinion of the new product? In this lesson, students will be placed in the role of the genetic engineer and will apply their understanding of the steps in the crop genetic engineering process to design a new genetically engineered food of their choice.


  1. Students will learn the basic steps of genetically engineering a crop as outlined in the biotechnology basics section of http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/education/
  2. Students will adapt their understanding of the crop genetic engineering and apply this understanding to create a new food product
  3. Students will evaluate their product and predict its benefits and limitations
  4. Students will explore the economic, social, environmental and ethical ramifications of their product


  • Poster board or poster-sized pieces of paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Any materials students want to include with their presentations (i.e. foodstuffs or diagrams)

1. Through instructor-led discussion students will discuss the steps and process of genetic engineering. (Information available at http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/education/).

2. Instructor will discuss types of genetically engineered crops and their traits.

3. Students will be divided into groups of 3-4 students.

4. In the groups students will brainstorm ideas for a new genetically engineered crop product.

5. Students will select one of their ideas for the new product, and outline the steps necessary to create the new product.

6. Students will create a poster showing the steps necessary to create the new product.
a) The poster will have drawings of each step of the genetic engineering process and text that briefly explains each step
b) Students will list the benefits of their new product and any limitations that they might predict as a result of their product.

7. Using their posters, each group will present their new product idea to the class. The class will then discuss their project through instructor led-discussion.

Useful Internet Resources

Assessment: Students should largely be assessed by their understanding of the process of genetic engineering. A simple grading rubric like the one below can be used to grade the studentís project.
Understanding of the process of genetic engineering and adaptation to the new product creation    50 points
Explanation of new product on poster and in discussion    25 points
Explanation of the possible benefits and limitations    10 points
Creativity of the new product idea    10 points
Poster neatness, organization and completeness    5 points

Partial support for this lesson provided by American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC)

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