This game uses hands-on learning with paper models in a competitive, fun, board game setting. The game can be adapted to a variety of teaching styles. For example, you might want to use one copy of the game in your classroom as one of several different learning stations. Or you might prefer to make four or five copies of the game (I encourage you to do that!) and have all of your students play the game (four to six students around each game board) at the same time as a whole class activity. Whatever your plan of attack, I know you will find this board game to be an effective way to teach your students about gene splicing and bacterial transformation – techniques that are basic to many modern laboratory techniques used in molecular biology in general and genetic engineering in particular.
This document contains the following:
1. Instructions for the teacher on how to construct the game board and game components (The teacher is encouraged to make enough copies of the game board and components so that his/her entire class – divided up into game tables of four to six students each – can play the game all at the same time.)
2. Activity sheet for the student that explains how to play the game, along with worksheet questions for the students to complete after playing the game (The teacher is encouraged to make a class set of this activity sheet.)
3. Teacher’s answer key for the student worksheet
Since the information needed for students to play the game (and answer the questions in the worksheet) can be found on the game board and the playing cards themselves, this game could be used to introduce the topics of gene splicing, recombinant DNA, genetic engineering and bacterial transformation. The game could also be used as a review at the end of a unit. I have found this game to be a good way to teach students the basics of these molecular biology techniques before having them do an actual bacterial transformation lab.