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Grade Range
6th-12th
Group Size
1-3 students
Active Time
3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time
3 hours 30 minutes
Area of Science
Genetics & Genomics
Key Concepts
Gene editing, CRISPR
Learning Objectives
  • Model biotechnological mechanisms on a molecular level.
  • Explain the molecular mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
  • Argue ethical implications of the CRISPR technology and its applications.
Credits
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
works with google science journal app
Schematic diagram of the CRISPR-Cas9 complex, showing the Cas9 protein, the guideRNA, and the cleaved target DNA.
Image credit: Marius Walter [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons, 2017

Overview

In this lesson plan, students will take a closer look at the most recent developments in gene editing. Specifically, they will learn about the CRISPR technology using various interactive simulations and other resources. Based on their gained knowledge, students will create a model of the CRISPR-Cas9 components and create a stop-motion animation video of the molecular mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
  • HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation, based on evidence, for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
MS
Developing and Using Models. Develop a model to describe unobservable mechanisms.

HS
Developing and Using Models. Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
MS
LS4.B: Natural Resources. In artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring.

HS
LS1.A: Structure and Function. All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins, which carry out most of the work of cells.
MS
Cause and Effect. Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World. Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes.

Structure and Function. Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.

HS
Structure and Function. Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal their function and/or solve a problem.

Cause and Effect. Systems can be designed to cause a desired effect.

Materials


Materials needed for the 'CUT! How Does CRISPR Work?' lesson plan.

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Grade Range
6th-12th
Group Size
1-3 students
Active Time
3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time
3 hours 30 minutes
Area of Science
Genetics & Genomics
Key Concepts
Gene editing, CRISPR
Credits
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
works with google science journal app
Learning Objectives
  • Model biotechnological mechanisms on a molecular level.
  • Explain the molecular mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
  • Argue ethical implications of the CRISPR technology and its applications.
Free science fair projects.