Simulation of a real project: notifications concerning releases of genetically modified higher plants
This method is a methodological strategy of teaching and learning in which students carry out a real project applying the skills and knowledge acquired during the formative process.
Therefore, students simulate a real solicitation by completing the information required in notifications concerning releases of genetically modified higher plants (gymnospermae and angiospermae), which includes information relating to recipient or parental plants, the genetic modification, the genetically modified plant, etc.
Group size : Classroom (20-30 persons)
Modality : Hybrid
Duration of the teaching method : An entire session
Special equipment : Computers with internet connection
Type of knowledge developed : Knowledge, Know-how
Target Audience : Students
Course Type : Practical work (TP)
Preparation time :2 hours
Author and persons who made changes : Estela Gimenez, Patricia Giraldo, Ana Moliner and Soledad Sacristan
Why am I using this technique?
For my learners...
Doing this learning activity, students not only apply the knowledge previously acquired in a real project but also learn how to use the web page from UE about the legal framework that ensures that the development of modern biotechnology, and more specifically of Genetically Modified Organisms, takes place in safe conditions. In this page, students find information about legislation, authorisation, registration, public consultations, traceability and labelling, post-authorisation, transboundary movements, etc. of GMOs, which allow students to learn and to become familiar with applicable law and request form.
For me, teacher or trainer...
The method allows the teacher to know if students understood genetic engineering techniques, such as genetic transformation in plants, plasmid design, in vitro culture techniques, etc., previously learned. Additionally, this activity initiates the applicable legislation, which includes authorisation, registration, public consultations, traceability and labelling, transboundary movements, etc., that will be posteriorly taught.
This activity helps me to reinforce the knowledge explained in theoretical classes, amplifying it and relating it to real situations. I can also refer to this experience in subsequent theoretical classes, because a real experience always combines many different concepts.
Framework and steps / Instructions
When this workshop is given, students must have previously learnt lessons related with genetic engineering (plasmid design, genetic transformation methods, in vitro culture techniques, genetic editing, etc.). Students must understand that in order to grow GMOs or to market food and feed, derived products or GMOs, the crops must be authorized by the competent authorities, according to international, European and national laws.
Therefore, we mimic in a real situation of request for authorization of deliberate release of a genetically modified higher plant.
The teacher must prepare computers with Internet access for each student.
The teacher must know the legislation about GMOs and the web page used to develop the activity.
Students play the role of employees in an international agritech company, which is developing GM plants. To evaluate the safety of these plants, the company needs to submit the request form for authorization of deliberate release of a genetically modified higher plants.
In order to be able to carry out the authorization, students are led in the UE web page of GMOs and all tabs (legislation, authorization, register, etc.) are shown and analysed.
Finally, students are led to applicable legislation and the request form for authorization of deliberate release of a genetically modified higher plant is downloaded.
Students must fill in the request form. Students can use all information studied in previous classes and information from UE and specific country web pages and from internet in general.
Once the activity is finished, each student must submit the request of authorization filled up. Students will have one week to complete the activity and prepare the request and submit it. The evaluation will be made based on the request.
Points to evaluate:
-Design of GMO: Clear description of recipient or parental plant, genetic modification (description of the methods used for the genetic modification, nature and source of the vector used, source (name) of donor organism(s) and intended function of each constituent fragment of the region intended for insertion, etc.), information relating to the genetically modified plant (description of the trait(s) and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, information on the sequences actually inserted/deleted, information on the expression of the insert, etc)
-Innovation in the genetic modification event
-Punctuality to apply the request
-The genetic modification event described does not necessarily need to be invented. Instead, an event previously described can be modified and used to carried out the activity.
-The web pages relating to GMOs from each UE countries can be used to develop the activity instead the UE web page.
What if it doesn't work?
This activity can be considered more or less complex, but it always works. If the computers do not work, the authorization of deliberate release of a genetically modified higher plant can be filled on paper.