|methods of science|
|hands-on science activities|
|fun & games|
|other science resources|
The slide presentation is content heavy, but the terms and concepts introduced are essential to the hands-on activity. The more that the students can be exposed to some of the terms before the workshop the better. If they come to the workshop with an understanding of organs>tissues>cells>nucleus>chromosomes>genes>DNA they will be better able to understand the material.
After the slides we will have a couple of demonstrations, first about probability (using coin-flipping) and then about “genetic crosses” (using the students to act out a hypothetical cross to produce a litter of mice). Students will then work in pairs (within their group of four) to do their own probability exercise and a mouse breeding “experiment.” The most difficult concept to get across to them seems to be the difference between what they would predict would happen when two mice with a given set of traits breed (the “expected results”) versus the actual results that they get when they sample. We will be stressing this point over and over.
The students will be introduced to a term that is probability foreign to most folks—the Punnet square. The name is not necessarily important, but it is a very useful tool for generating a prediction about what the results of a genetic gross will be.
After the experiment the students will discuss their results in the science seminar. If time permits we will survey the class for common human traits that illustrate dominant and recessive characters.
Mouse puppets were used to help students understand how genes from each parent combine to determine genetic traits in the offspring. Everyone wanted to be a "mouse" for a day!
To simulate a genetic cross between two heterozygous black-eyed mice, students drew checker "genes" from bags representing the parents' gametes. The checker "genes" were combined to represent the genetic composition of offspring mice.
|All of the materials above are in Adobe PDF format and can be printed on your home printer. You can download Acrobat Reader free from the Adobe website:|