180-200 min.

Beating Mosquitoes At Their Own Game

  • Science (Life)
  • STEM
  • Technology
  • English Language Arts


In this lesson, students will investigate how humans, through biotechnology, can influence the characteristics of organisms in order to ultimately take a stance on the best way to combat an outbreak of Zika-infected mosquitos in their community. Students will begin by investigating mosquito-borne disease transmission. Next, they will consider how scientists are effectively using mosquitos as model organisms to study disease progression and to test treatments. Students will then develop an understanding of how scientists are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping to study mosquito locations. Once students have sufficient background knowledge, they will move on to explore how scientists modify mosquitos using various methods to combat the spread of disease. Students will then compare remediation efforts to the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They will use this information to ultimately develop a stance on GMOs and come to their own conclusion on the best way to combat their community’s mosquito outbreak. This lesson includes a ready-made PowerPoint presentation to use in the classroom and to help facilitate the lesson plan.

Student Will Learn

  • 21st Century Skills
    • Collaboration
    • Communication
    • Critical Thinking
  • Design Principles
    • Defining the Problem
    • Designing Solutions
    • Communicating Results

Content Areas

  • Disease Transmission
  • Life Science
  • Genetic Modification


  • Investigate how humans can influence the characteristics of organisms
  • Participate in a simulation that models the spread of infectious disease and apply what is learned to mosquito- borne infections
  • Compare how GIS mapping and computer-based models are an improvement over older mosquito tracking methods
  • Research and analyze the role of biotechnology in the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases
  • Identify the benefits and considerations of mosquito control options in order to construct their own well-informed opinion on the best way to combat disease

Grade Levels


Suggested Time

  • 180–200 minutes (3-4 class sessions)