A Subject Sampler: Exploring Heredity and Genetics

Level: High School, 9-12
Area: Living Environment
Standards: #4, Key Idea 2
Concepts: Heredity, Genetics, Technology, Genetic Engineering

Your task is to explore the world of heredity and its different aspects with the help of this subject sampler. You can do this sampler in pairs or in a small group of three. Visit the list of websites below, try out the various online activities, and complete the questions (10) on a separate sheet of paper. A class discussion based on your findings will be held next class.

A sampler checklist and discussion rubric is provided at the end of the page to help you monitor your work and progress. You are expected to come prepared for the whole class discussion! You may take notes in your lab notebook to help you with your preparation.

Mendel's Genetics
A Guide to Mendel & Genetics
Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Father of Genetics?

Chromosomes and Karyotypes:
What is a chromosome?
Make Your Own Karyotype

Genetic Risks/Screening
Calculating Genetic Risk
Newborn Genetic Screening

Gene Therapy
What is Gene Therapy?
Space Doctor: Gene Therapy Case Studies

Genetic Engineering
Tiki's Guide to Genetic Engineering

Designer Babies
What is a designer baby?
Design Your Own Baby

Genetically Modified Foods
Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe for Humans and Animals?ani_thinkingcap.gif
Bake A Cake With Future Ingredients

  1. Who is Gregor Mendel and what was he most famous for? Why is his research important for his time period?
  2. Explain the role of chromosomes in heredity. Give an analogy in modern day terms.
  3. Who should have access to a person's genetic information? What should they be allowed to do with that information?
  4. Who should have control of a person's genetic information? Where should it be held and how will it be accessed?
  5. Should a person's genetic predisposition to a disease affect his or her ability to get a job or health care? Why or why not?
  6. If a person has a genetic disorder, should he or she be allowed to pass that on to a child? Justify your answer.
  7. What are the possible implications of permitting parents to predetermine the sex or the characteristics (ie. height, weight, eye color) of their offspring?
  8. What social issues do you think would be raised by new reproductive technologies?
  9. Are genetically modified foods and products safe to humans and the environment? Provide 3 examples to clarify your statement.
  10. Do you think genes control your behavior? How much of a role does the environment play in genetics? Do you think genes control the future?

Subject Sampler Expectations Checklist
Class Discussion Rubric