Plant GIFTS increases student understanding of heredity with a particular emphasis on breeding while also incorporating information on transmission genetics and the central dogma. Specifically, the project introduces students to the ideas of applied genetics and plant breeding technology through the lens of current global food production challenges. Appropriate for advanced high school biology courses as well as introductory or non-majors undergraduate level classes, Plant GIFTS includes both formative and summative assessments to gauge student learning. Up-to-date interactive lecture materials are coupled with a group-based active learning activity that can be utilized in classrooms ranging in size from 20 to 300+. The lesson reviews genetics concepts while placing this science into the context of the global food crisis, one of the greatest problems facing society currently and in the coming century. It also gamifies the concepts of genetics, crop production, and consumer sales of GMOs to allow an engaging learning experience for students.
The following resources were developed by Melinda Findlater, PhD (UC Merced) and Erin Friedman, PhD (University of Lynchburg) in consultation with Erin Rierson (Rustburg High School) as part of a Plant BLOOME grant.