Why do family relations share common characteristics? How is genetic information passed down from generation to generation?
Students partner up to explore these central modern genetics concepts by using a collection of 3D-printed pieces in conjuction with a deck of Trait Cards. They will track how observable characteristics (phenotypes) are expressed in offspring as a result of parental gene combinations (genotypes). Students also learn about dominance relationships between gene variants (alleles) by using Punnett squares to analyze the probability that offspring will have particular genotypes.
As a result of the Alien Babies activity, students will understand the two laws of Mendellian inheritance–random segregation and independent assortment–and be able to apply their knowledge to explain the genetic basis underlying some of the physical similarities and differences between family relations.