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DNA: Heredity, Structure, Function, and Genetic Applications

Module Summary
This unit gives an introduction to heredity, the structure and function of DNA as well as its use in forensics and other genetic applications. Students will learn how DNA is passed through generations by using paper chromosomes to find the phenotypes and genotypes of parents and offspring. Students then complete multiple labs that concentrate on the structure and function of DNA from the creation of models to DNA extractions. Next students learn the basic techniques needed to work safely and efficiently in a laboratory setting. Finally, students use these techniques and information to solve a crime and discuss controversial topics in genetics.

Grade Levels

Module Materials (view or download)
Fiddler Crab Inheritance Patterns
DNA Pipecleaner Model
Virtual DNA Extraction
DNA Extraction: Strawberry 
Micropipetting Practice
Genetics Debate

Module Activity Overview Estimated Class Time
Fiddler Crab Inheritance Patterns 1 (90 min) class
DNA Pipecleaner Model 1 (45 min) class
Virtual DNA Extraction 1 (30 min) class
Strawberry DNA Extraction 1 (20 min) class
Micropipetting practice  1 (45 min) class
Forensics Lab  2 (90 min) classes
Genetics Debate 2 (90 min) classes



Last updated: 3/13/2015