This lesson helps students explore the various ways that the science of biotechnology helps humans. Then we will explore the early days of biotechnology and learn about fermentation through an experiment involving yeast. We will conclude by discussing ways that biotechnology introduces alternate energy sources. (Most appropriate for grade levels 6-8.)

Lesson Time: 60-80

Student Activity 1: This activity has students conduct an experiment using yeast to break down sugar which will create carbon dioxide and inflate a balloon.

Student Activity 2: This activity focuses on the increasing demand for electricity and asks students to consider how much energy they use. The activity will show good and bad habits of energy use in their last 24 hours.

Student Activity 3: There is a Biotech Worksheet for students to complete as a part of our volunteer’s conclusion that will review for them some of the many biotechnology sectors and ask students to think about things in everyday life that would fit these categories.

Group work: Students will work in groups of 2-3 students. In order to save time, teachers are asked to create the groups before our Wizard arrives.

Science Standards:
6.LS.4: Living systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function.

Please see the Nature of Science document on our Lesson Standards page.