High School Biology / 9th and 10th Grade

Analyzing Human Genetics

How does genetic inheritance explain traits in humans that we can’t see?

Advances in biomedical technology have enabled unprecedented progress in our understanding of our personal genomes and traits. With the rise of genetic testing, we are responsible for making informed choices. In this unit, students learn foundational concepts of genetics to address the unit driving question: How does genetic inheritance explain traits in humans that we can’t see? Students engage with these concepts through case studies of individuals impacted by “invisible” traits, including lactose intolerance, breast cancer, blood type, and sickle cell disease. Students also leverage the key principles of bioethics as they take on the role of genetic counselors to create their final product: a set of evidence-based recommendations for a case study individual who has a genetically inherited condition. The unit culminates with project groups presenting and defending their recommendations for their case study patient, in an authentic “Grand Rounds” format commonly used by medical professionals.

Unit Length: 7 weeks (35 hours)

"I think the Educurious curriculum has helped to prepare students for their final by giving them concrete experiences to associate the material with. If I asked them a question about something like: 'What the meaning of the sequence of bases in DNA is?' The answer is something they can tie into one of the labs -and they can think about what the DNA sequence meant in the bar coding project, and that helps them to recall that information a little bit more easily."

Tom, Teacher
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