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Edible GMOs?
A social science investigation of genetically modified corn chips

Rachel Schwartz
2004-2005 Fellow

This experiment allows students to investigate some of the social, cultural and environmental issues surrounding foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The students are told that they have been asked by the Student Council to choose which chips to sell in the store to raise money for an end of the year party. The Student Council has narrowed it down to two brands, one that does not contain GMOs, and one that does. The investigation process guides students through the research process – from an examination of the various opinions about GMOs, in general, to formulating their own opinion on the technology. This curriculum can be used as-is, or it can be easily adapted and used as a framework for a larger, or smaller, project.

Genetically modified foods, sometimes referred to as ‘Frankenfoods’, are a hot topic, but we don’t really know too much about them. Students might learn about traditional and innovative plant breeding techniques, but they are rarely encouraged to think ‘outside the lab.’ This lab encourages students to think critically about the impact that the science within the lab has on the world outside.

Downloadable files:

Teacher's Guide

Student Version





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