Be a PUNnet Square … Not a Square!
A Mendelian look at genetics
By Daniel H. Vestal, AmeriCorps Museum Investigate Lab Educator
Bob Alderink and Dr. Colin Brammer brought to life the success of a famous monk, Gregor Mendel, and his work that changed the world and how we look at genetics today. With 15 seventh grade students from The Fletcher Academy in Raleigh, NC, the students and chaperones were stirred up and merged into the world of genetics on Friday, January 24, 2014!
Both educators provided insight into the importance of Mendel’s work with ratios, dominant and recessive genes, heterozygous and homozygous genotypes, and genetic differences in peas. This pioneering work was crucial in the development in the science of genetics. These concepts were not only important for plants, but also for humankind!
Why are genetic differences so important? Well, without differences in the world everything would be bland and boring. Differences are what make you unique and important.
Genetics can be a daunting topic to teach 15 young students, but with Bob and Colin’s attention-grabbing and entertaining slideshow presentation, combined with hands-on learning activities such as counting corn kernels and getting up close to corn plants… I’d say that the ratio of fun to challenging was 15 to 1!
The Natural World Investigate Lab offers programs just like this to homeschoolers, private and public schools, and even “tracked out” schools all the time. If you want to participate in future programs, head to the Museum of Natural Sciences’ Programs and Events Calendar on our website and sign up today!