My students are amazing young adults from the north end of Hartford. Unlike many other schools in Hartford and the rest of Connecticut, 7th grade is the first time my students have had a science class. Many of them come in curious, ready to get their feet (and hands) wet. Though I try to make lessons engaging with many forms of media, my students need hands on supplies to be successful in science now and in the future.
My goal is to help develop the future corps of scientists and engineers.
To do this, I need to give them the resources of a scientist and teach them the techniques used by scientists. Further, these hands on tools are crucial for students with educational disabilities or language barriers.
It can be difficult to teach genetics, considering everything of importance happens on a microscopic scale. That's why the DNA building kit will be crucial for my middle school students. It will give them a chance to not only see what DNA looks like, but to be able to build a DNA strand of their own.
My students will be able to use the same concepts and have to recognize the same patterns that Mendel did.
Sure, I want my students to know the results of his findings, but I also want them to understand the results and understand how he reached his conclusions. With the genetic kits, they will be able to imitate his experiments and see first-hand how dominant and recessive traits are passed down. They can then apply this knowledge to real world situations, such as how certain traits or conditions are passed down through a family tree.
These hands-on activities are critical for young budding scientists. Genetic activities like this are especially critical considering the important role of genetics in medicine, now and in the future.
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