Exploring Genetically Modified Organisms through an STSE lens is a perfect oppurtunity to connect curriculum content to the direct and indirect impact on their lives. Discussion questions are an ideal way to highlight STSE Education.
You may wish to explore several issues including but not limited to;
- Medical Advancements
- Environmental Implications of GMOs (less pesticides/less biodiversity)
- Patent Laws
- Labelling Laws
1) Why are some people opposed to the use of GMOs in agriculture? Why do you think some are in favour of GMOs in agriculture? How should (if at all) this science be applied to livestock production? Justify your answer using both scientific explanations and personal insights.
2) If you could create any type of GMO, what would it be and why? What characteristics would or wouldn't it have?
Your answer should be informed by both scientific explanations and personal insights.
3) "Biotechnology has many applications that are used to benefit society, but also has potentially negative implications" (Dulson, et al., 2011). Create a Table comparing the "PROS" and the "CONS" of biotechnology as you understand them. Revisit this able after the completion of this unit. How has your table changed (if at all). What assumptions have you made? What is still unknown? What specifically would you like to see researched in order to resolve any outstanding questions you may have.
Adapted from (Dulson, et al., 2011).
GMOs and Native Species/Biodiversity
This interview between Steve Paikin and numerous experts discusses the controversy of GMOs. I like this resource because it provides a Canadian context.
- The science of GMOs, curriculum connections
- New medical technologies, industry advancements
- Creating new organisms
- Factoring risks and benefits (ex. calculating crop yields, pesticide usage, etc).