In 1990, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially launched the first phase of The Human Genome Project, an internationally collaborative attempt to map and sequence the entire human genome. Though the original goal was achieved in 2003, scientists are only beginning to scratch the surface of the project’s medical and social potential, and there is plenty of opportunity for discussion in the classroom!
Written by High School Biology Teacher Carlie Frydman, this two-part activity is intended for science teachers who wish to introduce their students to the Human Genome Project, both in its significance to scientific discovery and the broader effects on society.
Using the interactive prompts, students will research the potential benefits and pitfalls of making genome data available to the public and will take a stance based on the available evidence.
Students will come away with in-depth knowledge of:
- The history of the Human Genome Project
- The potential benefits of collecting genetic data
- The ethical arguments against making genetic data public
- How to organize a defense of their opinion on the subject
Interested in pursuing STEM with your students beyond the classroom? Be sure to check out our educational tours tailored to science, ecology, and critical thinking!