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Summer SAVY 2023 Session 1, Day 2 – Dabbling with DNA

Posted by on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 2: Happy Tuesday!  We again had a day of enthusiasm, lots of questions, and learned much about Mendelian genetics.  This evening, feel free to ask your daughter or son about genes, alleles, genotypes, phenotypes, homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, and recessive traits.  We covered the basics of heredity and filled in a lot of Punnett squares.  We also did a Venn diagram, which was new to some of them, reviewing what we learned yesterday about animate and inanimate matter.  Ask them why the P in Punnett square and the V in Venn diagram are capitalized, they should know the answer.  We then looked at family trees and saw what information can be gleaned from the tree.   They attempted to draw their family tree and may have questions for you.   

In the afternoon we finished up the discussion of family trees and then did the Crazy Creature activity where each group starts with identical heterozygous parents (i.e., each group’s parents are the same), they flip coins to see which combination of alleles the children inherit for 14 traits and then build their Crazy Creature child.  We had seven groups, and each child was different.  They take note of this and were asked to think about why it is that none of the seven children were identical.  We calculate the probability that two children would be identical for 14 traits, and they see why it’s very unlikely for this to be the case.  They had a lot of fun building the creatures and I think enjoyed the day.  We are working our way through history and tomorrow is evolution day when we’ll cover artificial selection in addition to natural selection. 

Mr. Gary Schott