For ages 16-19: Feeding a growing world

In the 16–19 age range, students will examine the sugar content of potatoes in relation to emerging interest in the carcinogen acrylamide produced when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. They will use the kit provided in The Crunch box to employ cutting-edge techniques to genetically modify E. coli bacteria. They will insert the jellyfish gfp gene to make the bacteria fluoresce, and thus develop an understanding of the use of this procedure as a research tool in the genetic modification of plants. From there they will be able to debate a range of issues around genetically modified organisms and the future of food production.


Potato variations

How can we ensure future food security for everyone on the planet? To guarantee a supply of adequate, safe, nutritious food that is resilient to climate change and economic and natural challenges, humans will have to consider developing new forms of agriculture, cutting wastage, ensuring better food storage, and using technology to improve crop yields, amongst other possible contributions to a solution.

Potato variations resources

    Teacher notes
    Technician notes
    Student activities
    Potato variations powerpoint
    Delivery Guidance Potato variations
    Potatoes - research and the biotechnology of genetic modification
    Potatoes - research and the biotechnology of genetic modification video transcript

pGLO transformation of E. coli

How can we modify organisms quickly and safely improve food security? How can we see easily which organisms have been successfully modified and which have not? The use of a plasmid vector bearing a gene for a fluorescent protein is one answer to these questions.

In this investigation students will have the opportunity to try some techniques used in genetic modification, using the gfp gene for green fluorescent protein.

pGLO resources

    Teacher notes
    Technician notes
    Student activities
    pGLO transformation of E.coli powerpoint
    Bacterial transformation
    Making fish oils in plants
    Delivery Guidance pGLO

16-19 Additional resources

    Secondary 16-19 Teacher Guide
    Teacher notes Planning potato investigations
    Teacher notes Starch grains
    Teacher notes Starch synthesis
    Technician notes Starch synthesis
    Technician notes Starch grains
    Student activities Planning potato investigations
    Student activities Starch grains
    Student activities Starch synthesis
    Student activities The Scottish ban on GM
    Student activities Case studies of GM
    More to explore Potatoes
    More to explore Transformation

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About the kit

We've sent free science experiment kits to every school and FE college in the UK. Find out more about the activities in the kits and other exciting online resources you can use in your school and community. 

About the kit

Find out about The Crunch Ambassadors

Our passionate squad of Ambassadors will help kick-start conversations about our food, our health and our planet. Find one here.

Find out about The Crunch Ambassadors