Genetics Box

This box hooks students into the study of genetics by investigating the inheritance of human traits. Drawn by students' natural curiosity about how they come to look the way they do, they learn the basics of Mendelian genetics. From this introduction, students extract DNA, build DNA models and use them to study replication, transcription and translation. The DNA activities culminate in a CSI investigation in which students must solve a mystery using DNA fingerprinting. The unit then zooms back out from the molecular level to look at natural selection and the evolution of species. A version of the classic bird beak buffet activity is provided as well a wide variety of extensions to delve into evolution in greater detail.