MYP One World Project: Genetic Engineering


Variation exists in all species. Organisms with the best traits will survive to produce offspring with favorable traits. Still, some of these organisms possess traits that are not as desirable as others. Long ago, people recognized these facts and used this knowledge to selectively breed plants and animals to produce offspring with the best traits. Breeding, however, has certain limitations. For instance, you can generally only breed an organism with members of its own species. Now the characteristics of one organism can potentially be shared with another. What if you could reproduce an individual with favorable traits over and over again? What if you could choose the exact traits desired in the offspring? Today, scientists are discovering ways to genetically alter organisms for a variety of purposes, however, there are often unintended consequences. Because of that, not all scientists and consumers in different cultures agree that genetic engineering is an entirely positive endeavor.

Your Task:

You will ultimately create a ZooBook - an interactive, online book - exploring an issue within the field of Genetic engineering.
  • In order to do that, you will first complete and outline organizing your research and arguments surrounding the issue you choose.
  • Next, you will develop a story board of 700-1200 words (plus diagrams) about a type of genetic engineering.
  • After presenting the facts from both sides (see below), you need to take a stand on the issue, defending your position from fact. You must follow the procedure outlined below in "Research Process"

Research Process

1. Choose one type of genetic engineering to research. Approved topics include:
  • Cloning
  • GMO (genetically-modified organism/transgenic organism)
  • Designer Babies
  • Stem Cell – embryonic or adult
  • Gene Therapy

2. Develop a research question. What are you looking for in regards to this topic?

3. Research your topic. Use the approved sources below in the "Resources" section. Use EasyBib to create citations for your work (a tutorial on EasyBib is in the "Resources" section below) and, if you wish, to take notes on your topic. Your research will allow you to perform the following tasks:
  • Formulate a statement on the type of genetic engineering you have chosen, regarding its cultural and ethical implications in the United States and internationally. Be sure to use factual information from both sides of the issue to support your position.
  • Explain how it is applied to address a specific problem in a local or international context.
  • Discuss at least two (2) benefits (advantages) and two (2) limitations (disadvantages) of this genetic engineering technique.
  • Discuss and evaluate the implications of the use of your selected genetic engineering technique for ethical and cultural factors in the United States. Are these implications reflected in the international community? Be specific.
  • You MUST properly cite ALL sources of information within the text and provide a bibliography.

4. Complete the Task Template to organize your research and arguments

5. Log in to Zooburst. Spend some time looking over the image bank, at the images that have been selected for you to use in your book. Plan your Zoobook with the Storyboard Planner. Write all of the text for each page of your book in the text box on the Storyboard planner, write out text that characters on the pages may be "saying," make notes of images, colors or other visual elements you want in your book. Don't forget to include citations! Remember that your book must be 700-1200 words long. This is page text, not character text

6. Write your book! You can copy and past the text for each page from your Storyboard Planner and use images from the image bank.

Below are links, tutorial, resources and tips to help you with all phases of your project. Please look over these carefully before beginning your work.


Research Sources:

Genetic Science Learning Center

genetics center utah.jpg

The New York Times

The NY Times.jpg

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Howard Hughes Medical Institute.jpg
Science Daily

Science Daily.jpg
How Stuff Works

how stuff works.jpg

Planning Documents:

  • Task Template: Use this to help organize your research and be sure that you've answered all the questions/covered all of the points you're required to cover. You can save it into your H drive so that you can type into it and save it. Be sure to save it into your H drive BEFORE you type anything into it!

  • Storyboard Planner: Use this to write the text that will be included in your book, and plan the images and visual pieces. You can save it into your H drive so that you can type into it and save it. Be sure to save it into your H drive BEFORE you type anything into it!


Zooburst Tutorial: Click on this document to find a step-by-step guide - with pictures! - to navigate Zooburst -

EasyBib Tutorial: Use these guides to -

Grading Rubric:

Grading Rubric: Click on this document to find the grading criteria for the Biology One World Project

Teacher Page