What is STE(A)M?
It is a combination of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and ART. In this lesson that I will introduce, I will address the idea of genetic engineering.
Engage: Students will get in groups to determine the differences between diagrams of two of the same organisms. They will discuss what they all see and write it down in separate colors. Why do they think these differences exist?
Explore: In groups of 4 or 5, let students work together to think of a biological factor that they would love to create to allow new innovations in the world. Maybe a group wants to create a bacteria that is able to fight off pneumonia OR a group wants to genetically engineer a plant so it has properties to fight Alzheimers disease. These students will create a short essay on their idea and create a model to display their ideas.
Explain: With this background knowledge of showing how organisms can be changed genetically to benefit our society, students will create their own flexible definition and idea of what “genetic engineering” truly is.
Elaborate: Let students do their independent research on how genetic engineering is relevant in their lives. Maybe they can do research on cloning or GMOs. Anything that strikes their interest in the world of genetic engineering.
Evaluate: Individually give each student an exit slip on the pros and cons of genetically modifying biological organisms to our benefit. Do they think it is morally right? Is this a new step in science? Keep it open ended.
— Mr. Seballos (@mr_seballos) October 29, 2018
Adding a creative component to your classroom allows students to explore their own ideas and beliefs on topics like this. Throwing in art into STEM activities allows students to display and creatively articulate their own learning process and understanding of a topic.