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Biotechnology,Breakout Box,TEACH-FLEX Classroom/Remote

G.M. Whoa

Grade Levels: Middle School,High School

When people refer to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), they are talking about crops that have been created through genetic engineering. This can also be thought of as a more pinpointed approach to plant breeding. Genetic engineering allows plant breeders to take a preferred trait existing in nature and share it to a plant or organism they are seeking to improve. Some examples of desirable traits commonly transferred include resistance to insects and disease and tolerance to herbicides that allow farmers to better control weeds. This
breakout compliments the Kansas Corn STEM labs “Genetically Modified Information?” and “GMO or GM- No?”  It can be used as an introductory to one or all of those labs or this activity can be altered to serve as more of an assessment following the completion of the Genetically Modified Information? and “GMO or GM-No? labs.

Instructional Video for Teachers

Untitled Design (41)

TEACH-FLEX Option: Online Breakout Box

Using breakout.edu, our game can be played online. No physical box needed! Teacher Tip: Instructions below are for the classroom breakout box. For help with the answers to the online game, simply go to the Online Lock Combinations tab.

Digital Breakout Box: G.M. Whoa

Quick Links

G.M. Whoa Book Covers

This is the printable file for the book covers on the last three pages of the lesson.

Download Book Covers

Teaching the Lesson

Standards

Middle School Science

  • LS1-7. Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
  • LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

High School Science

  • LS1-7. Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
  • LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand what G.M.O stands for.
  • Students will understand some of the reasons why genetic modification takes place.
  • Students will engineer a crop resistant to insects.

Breakout Edu Tips

If this is your first time using a Breakout Edu box, you are in for a treat. Once you’ve done one breakout box your students will be ready for the next time.

  • You can use breakout boxes as a whole class, in addition to small groups.
  • You have the opportunity to give students hints. Every box comes with at least two hint cards. If you have a high performing group, you may want to challenge them with less hints, while a different hour may need more hints.
  • Having a visual timer for students while they are working is really helpful. It allows them to budget their time and when they may want to use their hints.
  • As the teacher, you have the discretion to hide things wherever in your room you deem best. Feel free to make adjustments. Just make sure the clues for the locks don’t change. Otherwise, students may not be able to get in.

Breakout Activity

Recommended Ages: K-Adult
Ideal Group Size: Can be used small group or whole class
Suggested Time: 30-40 minutes

Story

You’ve been complaining about never having anything good to eat at home. As a challenge, you’ve been sent to the grocery store to buy items to make dinner for your family. While walking down the aisles to choose what you want, you see a label that says, “Non GMO”. You’ve heard this term before but aren’t sure what it means and wonder if you should go back and check the other items that you’ve already put in your cart. Before you continue shopping take a quick break to test your knowledge on GMOs, but hurry … dinner needs to be ready in a few hours.

Online Lock Combinations

The following codes will open the locks for the online version.

3-Digit Lock – 3 Numbers
7,4,2

4-Digit Lock – 4 Numbers
1,9,9,5

Shape Lock (Digital Version)
star, square, diamond, circle, triangle

Directional Lock- 5 Directions for the Directional Multilock
Right, Down, Left, Up, Right

Lock Combinations

The following codes will open the locks on the box.

3-Digit Lock – 3 Numbers
7,4,2

4-Digit Lock – 4 Numbers
1,9,9,5

Shape Lock
☆, ⇨ ,◇,○,△ (Vector, Growth Media, Tomato Leaf, Growth Medium Plants, Growth Chamber)

Directional Lock- 5 Directions for the Directional Multilock
Right, Down, Left, Up, Right

Key Lock
Teacher’s Choice of Book Jacket

Setup Instructions

Steps

  1. For the shapes lock, students will need one copy of the Engineer A Crop Cards as well as internet access. Students will go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/engineer/transgen.html.Students will take themselves through the steps of creating a caterpillar-resistant tomato crop. As they work through, they can put the cards into the correct order. Then, they will notice that the five pink shapes will be in order and open the shape lock. The other four cards have green shapes but will not allow access to any locks. This lock will go on the outside of the large box.
  2. Use the Ancient Versus Present cards to help students solve the directional lock. These cards will be printed off and placed in the small lock box and locked with the key lock. Once students get into this box, they will need to use the “ancient” and “present” cards to help sort. Students will also find a clue card to help them place the plant cards correctly. When students have the ancient species matched to their current counterparts, they can input the five arrows into the directional lock and will be able to get in.
  3. Students will need to use the Genetic Traits Expressed in GMOs in the U.S. infographic. Students will need to identify what are the three most frequent genetic traits in GMOs. They should use the Genetic Traits Expressed record sheet to collect this data. When they have identified the top three traits, they will be able to use them to open the three-digit lock. The answer will be 7, 4, 2. This lock will go on the outside of the large box.
  4. Post the large question card, “What year did the first genetically modified crop become available for purchase?” On the back of this card, either print or cut and glue the QR code labeled GMO Answers (see note below). Students will be able to scan the code and search for the correct answer, while learning the availability dates for the other nine commercially available crops. This year will be the answer for the 4-digit lock. This lock will go on the outside of the large box.
    *There are two QR codes. You may give students the one that is more challenging (Level 2) or the easier one (Level 1). The challenge one will require them to look at more of the website. The easier one will take them straight to the page that they need. They are labeled “Level 1” for easy and “Level 2” for challenging.
  5. Use one or more of the three different book jacket covers. These covers will be placed on the outside of books in your classroom that are near the same size or books that you might check out from the library. As the teacher, choose which of the books you would like to hide the key inside. The jacket covers relate to three genetically modified crops that can currently be purchased in the United States.
  6. The small box and the large box will be placed on the table. When students unlock the main box, inside they will find a prize, typically candy. You can also include the questions below on half sheets of paper for students to turn in as exit tickets.
  7. It is also possible to include other supplies that would lead your students into completing other Kansas Corn STEM labs.

Resources

This activity works great when teaching the Genetically Modified Information? and “G.M.O. or G.M. No labs.

For answers to the Genetic Traits Expressed record sheet download the G.M. Whoa Lesson PDF.

Reflection and Conclusion

At the completion of this breakout, your students should have a better understanding of GMOs, crops that are currently being genetically modified, and the reasons for making crop modifications. Feel free to give students the following questions as an exit ticket or knowledge check at the end of the breakout. If you have groups that do not breakout, it is always nice to go over the information and/or clues that would have led to completion of their task.

Questions
1. What are the three categories of soil? Answer: Clay, silt, and loam.
2. What are the main parts that make up soil? Answer: Water, air, organic material, inorganic material, and minerals.
3. How many soil texture variations are listed on the soil texture triangle? Answer: 12.
4. What are some sustainable practices farmers use to reduce soil erosion? Answer: Cover crops.
5. What three types of soil did you measure on the soil measurement cards? Answer: Sand, silt, and clay.

Disclaimer

Any educator electing to perform demonstrations is expected to follow NSTA Minimum Safety Practices and Regulations for Demonstrations, Experiments, and Workshops, which are available at http://static. nsta.org/pdfs/MinimumSafetyPracticesAndRegulations.pdf, as well as all school policies and rules and all state and federal laws, regulations, codes and professional standards. Educators are under a duty of care to make laboratories and demonstrations in and out of the classroom as safe as possible. If in doubt, do not perform the demonstrations.

About Kansas Corn STEM

Investing in Kansas teachers and students is a priority for the Kansas Corn Commission. We are committed to providing materials and training to support STEM education while fostering an understanding of how corn farming and agriculture fit into our daily lives. Professional development workshops are offered to teachers seeking to expand their knowledge and inquiry-based teaching skills.

Workshop Info

This lesson is the work product of the Kansas Corn Commission. Our lessons are written in collaboration with Kansas teachers for use in the classroom. Teachers may copy and share this curriculum. Use of this product for commercial or promotional use is prohibited without express permission of Kansas Corn.

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