How to Use These Lessons

This secondary curriculum uses biotechnology and current research in forest bioproducts as a window through which secondary students investigate the meaning of biotechnology and current research practices at the University of Maine. The five Maine Forest Bioproducts and Biotechnology lessons were developed by Maine Educators and reviewed by middle and high school teachers. Not all lessons have been pilot tested so we welcome your comments and suggestions.  Educators are permitted to download, print, and use any of the following online materials. Lessons can be taught separately, in pairs or as a complete unit of study.

After completing all or part of the activities, students should be able to:

➢    Demonstrate an understanding of current research practices in the field of biotechnology and alternative biofuels
➢    Describe components of various scientific processes
➢    Explain how environmental and human factors have affected and continue to affect the Maine forests
➢    Describe how economic, political and social systems play a role in managing forest resources
➢    Communicate an understanding of Life Cycle Analysis and its application to  forest products

The activities focus on developing skills in researching, analyzing, and problem solving.
They may be used in a variety of classes and dis
ciplines including:

  •     Science Courses - life/biology, physical/physics, earthHigh school teachers review lessons from the summer seminar 2009
  •     AP Biology
  •     AP Environmental Science
  •     Career and Technical programs   
  •     Computers and Technology
  •     Economics
  •     General Science
  •     Social Studies
  •     Vocational and technical studies

Steps toward understanding the concepts and activities:

  1. Review lessons by clicking on the lesson title. A summary of the activity is covered on each front page.
  2. Each lesson includes background material, appropriate grade level, objectives, assessment opportunities and correlations to Maine Learning Results.
  3. Every activity includes both teacher and student pages along with a list of references and resources.
  4. Download each lesson in either a pdf or WORD document format.
  5. To comment on lessons, please go to the FBRI/PLT Pilot Evaluation form and send to
  6. Make connections to the National PLT Biotechnology curriculum by attending a Maine PLT educator workshop.
PLT Mission: PLT uses the forest as a “window on the world” to increase students’ understanding of our complex environment, to stimulate critical and creative thinking, to develop the ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues, and to instill the confidence and commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment.


How to access these lessons:

The materials in these lessons have been provided in several ways to maximize their versatility. PDF files can be downloaded and printed as is. DOC files are Microsoft Word documents that can be edited. PPT files are Microsoft PowerPoint slide shows. There is a free PowerPoint viewer for Windows you can download here. There is no free viewer for the Mac, but if you are running Leopard (OS X 10.5) you can view PPT files in Quicklook by selecting the file in the Finder and pressing the space bar. Another option for Mac users is the NeoOffice Suite, a free OS X program with similar functionality to Microsoft Office that can be downloaded here.

Each lesson is also presented in its entirety as a zip file that can be downloaded where it says "download all materials for lesson." Zip files are a convenient way to package a group of files together for download and these zip files contain all of the materials for each lesson - PDF files, DOC files and PPTs. Once downloaded, choose your operating system below and follow the instructions.

To unzip on a PC:
Windows XP and higher
Newer versions have built-in zip capability. Double-click to start the Extraction Wizard and follow the onscreen instructions.

Windows 2000 or earlier
1. You will need to download and install a program to open zip files. 7-Zip is a free program which you can get here.
2. Double-click on the zipped file to start the program. Some unzip programs will allow you to unzip files by right-clicking the file and selecting "unzip."
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.

To unzip on a Mac:
Mac OS X 10.5 and higher

Newer versions have a built in program called Archive Utility. Simply double-click on the zipped file and it will open in the same folder.

Older than Mac OS X 10.5
1. Download and install the free version of Stuffit Expander by clicking here.
2. Double-click on the zipped file or right-click the file and select "unzip."
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Once you've unzipped your files, you can keep the zip file as a space-saving backup or you can delete it.

Photos: High school teachers review lessons from the summer seminar 2009