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.
Though I try to be creative in my classroom, I find it very difficult to teach certain concepts to my students. One of those concepts is genetics. It can be very difficult to break preconceived notions students have about how traits are passed down. It can also be very hard to explain how these microscopic things called DNA and genes make us who we are.
With the requested materials, I can bring genetics to life and engage my students in a 2-month long project.
In a short amount of time, they will be able to see first-hand how genes are passed down over multiple generations. These Wisconsin fast-growing plants are perfect for our unit, which will take about 2-3 months. In that amount of time, my students will be able to directly observe multiple generations of plants grow, observe their traits (such as stem color) and understand how those traits were passed down. With these plants, they will learn just like Gregor Mendel did. The Plant Light Bank will provide 8 square feet of direct light for our plants, which is enough light to allow each and every one of my students to have their own plants. This will really aid their investment in this project and their learning. These supplies are perfect for my students: it has all the necessary parts to help them understand the underlying principles of genetics. This knowledge is crucial for any future scientist, and it may even be necessary for every person as we enter a world of personalized medicine.
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