K thru 12

What is Biotechnology?

Heard of the term but don’t really know what it means? Test your knowledge and learn more with this presentation.

GIFT Program

An educational outreach program in partnership with Georgia Tech that provides teachers the opportunity to experience scientific research. Click here for more information.

Biotech GIFT Experience

4-6-week research experience for teachers funded by the National Science Foundation and offered through GIFT.  Teachers participate in current genomics and biotechnology research projects focused on plant biology.  Teachers also have the opportunity to develop and test new classroom activities in consultation with research scientists. View biotech activities in 2004 and 2005 from the teachers’ perspective: 2004 Presentation or 2005 Presentation.

Biotech Workshop

A 1-week workshop designed to update middle and high school teachers on genomics and biotechnology and to train teachers how to conduct DNA-related classroom activities.  Conducting these activities for the first time under supervision and during the summer reduces preparation time during the school year.  Either the 1- or 4-week workshop is required for a teacher to be eligible to check out equipment kits for the classroom activities.

Classroom Activities

Do You Think Like a Scientist? This is a set of questions that will help students to attend to detail when responding to questions.  It will train them to look at all the information given prior to formulating an answer.

You Are a Biotechnologist. A short activity that allows students to learn about sample collection by working their way through a crime scene.  This activity should be performed prior to the DNA electrophoresis activity.

Where in the World is DNA? Students are asked to identify objects that do contain DNA and those that do not.  By performing this activity students will appreciate that only living or once living objects contain DNA.

Building Linear and Plasmid DNA Models. Many students have difficulty understanding the structure of DNA.  This activity will allow students to build a strand of linear and plasmid DNA.  The abstract concepts will become concrete. Kit Required.

Coding for Amino Acids and Proteins – Level 1/Level 2. Students will work with transcription and translation to learn how nucleic acids code for amino acids and how proteins subsequently are built.  Kit Required.

Plant DNA Extraction. Extracting DNA from plant material can be challenging.  This activity allows students to work with food products and extract the DNA from these materials.  By the end of the experiment the students will be able to visualize the strands of DNA.

Animal DNA Extraction. Students will love the opportunity to have a sample of their own DNA.  This activity allows students to practice DNA extraction by using their own cells.  By the end of this experiment students should have a visible sample of their own DNA to show others.

Micropipetting Technique. The tools associated with Biotechnology can be very confusing.  With this activity the students are exposed to using a micropipette and start thinking about very small volumes. Kit Required.

Bacterial Transformation. This activity demonstrates a practice commonly used to genetically engineer bacteria.  Many concepts such as heat shocking, plasmid insertion and producing a protein of interest are explored through this activity. Kit Required.

DNA Electrophoresis. One of the most useful tools every developed for use in the biotechnology lab is electrophoresis.  This allows for segments of DNA to be separated based on their size.  By working their way through this activity students will get to gain experience using several biotechnology lab tools.  This activity should be performed in conjunction with the Crime Scene. Kit Required.

Kit Checkout Guidelines

In order to check out kits of equipment and reagents to be used in the classroom, the responsible teacher must have completed either the Biotech GIFT Experience or the Biotech Workshop.  Requests for kits must be received no less than three weeks in advance.  Kits will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  Kits must be returned within three weeks of the check-out date.  Transportation will be arranged by the teacher.

In order to request a kit, e-mail Evelyn Morgan at epmorgan@uga.edu and include your contact information, name of the kit, number of classes with which the kit is to be used (all kits are designed for classes of 28 students working in groups of 4), and dates when kit will be checked out.

Peggy Ozias-Akins | The University of Georgia