High School visits – University of Copenhagen

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Copenhagen Plant Science Centre > News > 2012 > High School visits

25 June 2012

High School visits

The carrot is orange and the potato tuber is easy to peel, but it has not always been so.

The Faculty of SCIENCE has a very well developed outreach office organising visits from primary schools and high schools. Annually, more than 12.000 students visit the Faculty to do experiments and to learn about science. Among many other lectures and exercises, high schools can book the lecture "From wild plant to genetically modified crop" by PhD Inga Christensen Bach.

In this lecture examples are presented of how domestication and breeding has changed the appearance of plants, the culinary value and the suitability for cultivation.

 - By using biotechnology, we can make more robust crops with higher nutritional value. However, there is a widespread skepticism especially in Europe regarding cultivation and use of plants that are classified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). By comparing the outcome of conventional breeding methods and GMOs that are in the pipeline, the students get the oportunity to form a knowledge based opinion about the use of biotechnology, explains Inga Christensen Bach.  

Selected techniques for plant breeding and genetic engineering are reviewed, and the interface between GMO and non-GMO is discussed. There will be a brief overview of the genetically engineered crops that are grown commercially, and examples will be shown of crops with novel properties that are under development in Danish and foreign research laboratories.

Read more about exercises and lectures (in Danish) for visiting high school classes.