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BIOTECHNOLOGY: Monster or Miracle?
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BIOTECHNOLOGY: Monster or Miracle?

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  1. BIOTECHNOLOGY: Monster or Miracle? Nancy Kellogg Brawley Union High School

  2. BIOTECHNOLOGY:Monster or Miracle? This is a web quest for high school biology students, introducing them to the concepts and controversies concerning biotechnology. Students research this topic from the perspective of a farmer, a research scientist or a consumer, then share their findings with classmates. I teach biology and anatomy & physiology at Brawley Union High School in Brawley, southeastern California. I can be contacted at: nkellogg@brawleyhigh.org

  3. Expectations I was hoping to: • Learn PowerPoint for classroom and presentation applications • Learn how to develop and maintain web pages • Develop skills at manipulating text and graphics • Learn how to create a web quest • Become more adept at using the internet as a teaching resource

  4. I learned how to: Make PowerPoint presentations Create and maintain web pages Use a digital camera Manipulate (to a small degree) images used in any computer file Print photographs Use a scanner Insert scanned images into documents or presentations Create a web quest Enhance materials I prepare and/or present to students with color and graphics Further integrate and enhance my teaching with the addition of student driven technology-based activities I also improved my internet search and retrieval skills Technology skills I learned through participation in the CTAP program:

  5. The Activity • Students took a survey as a pre-test to determine what they knew and thought of biotechnology. • Students were provided instructions and information to conduct a webquest about biotechnology from the perspective of a farmer, a scientist or a consumer. • Using the rubric at right, they were to make a group presentation to the class while classmates took notes on each others’ presentations. GENETIC ENGINEERING GROUP DISPLAY RUBRIC EXEMPLARY (25 points) qAll Proficient category criteria have been met qAdditional work is included, for example, group members each research more than 2 areas, or 2 or more of the following are included: additional benefits, concerns, examples of application, &/or safeguards PROFICIENT(20 points) qDisplay is neat, all work is legible; color and creativity are applied qEach group member was entirely responsible for at least 2 research areas qEach group member participates in display preparation and presentation qPresentation describes 3 benefits and 3 concerns/fears about GE in group’s field of study qPresentation lists 3 examples or products (5 for farmers) of how GE is being used qPresentation explains 3 safeguards against abuses of GE products qAssigned vocabulary is defined so that it is understandable to the audience of peers qThe process of GE shown includes a labeled diagram that is complete and understandable to the audience of peers DEVELOPING (15 points) qAll of one or parts of two of the Proficient category criteria are not done DOES NOT MEET STANDARDS (no score, must be re-done and presented again) qTwo or more than parts of two of the Proficient category criteria are not done

  6. Students used their notes to write an essay about labeling and/or regulating genetically-engineered products (see rubric at right). Finally, the survey was re-administered as a post-test. GENETIC ENGINEERING STUDENT ESSAY RUBRIC Essay question: To what extent, if any, should genetically-engineered products be regulated and/or labeled? EXEMPLARY (15 points) qAll Proficient category criteria have been met qAdditional work is included, for example: there are NO errors in language conventions/grammar, more than 2 arguments given in favor of or opposed to regulating/labeling GE products, examples from all 3 areas of study are used  PROFICIENT (12 points) qAll work is neat and legible qEssay is typed, double spaced, between 1 and 2 pages in length qLanguage conventions are adhered to with few, if any, grammatical errors qStudent presents at least two arguments with examples in favor of regulating/labeling GE products qStudent presents at least two arguments with examples opposed to regulating/labeling GE products qStudent states own opinion with valid justification qStudent uses examples from 2 of the 3 areas of study (farmer, scientist, consumer) DEVELOPING(10 points) qAll of one or parts of two of the Proficient category criteria are not done DOES NOT MEET STANDARDS (no score, must be re-done and turned in again) qLegitimate effort made to complete assignment timely for original due date qTwo or more than parts of two of the Proficient category criteria are not done EXTRA CREDIT (5 points) qEasy-to-understand mindmap notes from other group presentations attached The Activity, continued

  7. Student Presentations Student presentations included a variety of technology applications: PowerPoint, video, word processing and clip art were among those used

  8. Student Work Samples Although the format was left up to the students, 5 of 7 groups chose to present their web quest findings in PowerPoint productions. 3 are included here:

  9. Student Essays

  10. Student Data • The graph below shows students’ general opinion of biotechnology/genetic engeineering (GE) before and after the activity • The graphs to the right show percentages of pre- and post-test questions answered correctly (top) and the change from pre- to post-test (bottom)

  11. Successes • Learned both sides of controversial issues related to biotechnology and drew their own opinions • Learned technical concepts related to biotechnology • Worked well cooperatively and on task Students: • Enjoyed the activity and became engrossed in their web quest, YEA!!! • Enjoyed the creative opportunity their presentation allowed • Learned or improved their technology skills

  12. Shortcomings • Time! The activity was postponed on several occasions, then students were not given adequate time in consecutive classes to work on it • Vocabulary concepts were not well understood by all students • Several misconceptions in the subject of biotechnology were not adequately addressed • Some scientific processes were difficult for students to grasp • Computer access was limited at times • Not all pre-/post-survey items were learned during the activity

  13. Lesson Revisions • Pre-teach vocabulary and basic genetic engineering processes prior to introducing the web quest • Allow more time -- 2-3 class periods (consecutively) -- for students to research their web quest assignment • Explicitly discuss misconceptions to guide students to appropriate understandings where they have been misled • Revise the pre-/post-survey to better reflect the content learned from the teacher, web quests and student presentations

  14. Summary and Concluding Statement My use of technology continues to be applied daily and expand as well. My use of technology in teaching includes: • Insertion of graphics into student documents • “Mind map” notes made in Word, including graphics and color • School web page with current information (including graphics) about course outlines, rules and grading policies, homework assignments and a swim team page (see Nancy Kellogg’s web page at www.brawleyhigh.org) • Student assignments using computers to research, conduct image analysis, and create PowerPoint presentations Next year, I will expand my technology applications as follows: • PowerPoint presentations will replace or augment some other presentation forms previously used • Students will use computers to record and display data as well as for presentations

  15. Summary andConcluding Statement, continued • I learned more than I expected! My most surprising discoveries have come from using my new digital camera and scanner to insert and manipulate images • All of my original expectations were met or exceeded • My confidence in handling both hardware and software issues has greatly improved as a result of participating in this program • I highly recommend this program to all educators, because it allows everyone to work at their own levels and choose their own areas for growth.Han • THANK YOU for the opportunities and support you have provided me!