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Bacterial Adaptations and Their Application in Genetic Engineering

Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
4
Total Time
3 hours
Area of Science
Biotechnology
Genetic Engineering
Microbiology
Key Concepts
aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, adaptations, population growth, bacteria
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

Students explore adaptations by researching how animals, plants, and bacteria change based on their environment. They grow bacterial colonies in various environments and hypothesize how each environment will affect the cell culture size and color. After a day of pre-growth, the culture is spun down in a centrifuge and the cell pellet is analyzed. Finally, students research bacteria adaptations that allow them to survive in extreme environments then brainstorm how the beneficial genes can be useful for genetic engineering of GMOs in the future.

Engineering Connection

Genetic, biomedical, and biological engineering strives to benefit our world in a variety of way, such as creating crops that can better resist climate change to increasing the amount of light a plant can absorb. Like engineers, students will brainstorm ways to use the genes developed inside bacterial forms that have adapted to specific environments for beneficial purposes.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students' own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms. Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant.
Cause and Effect. Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
4
Total Time
3 hours
Area of Science
Biotechnology
Genetic Engineering
Microbiology
Key Concepts
aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, adaptations, population growth, bacteria
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
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