Reflection: Problem-based Approaches The Mystery of the Romanovs - Section 1: Introduction

 

Simulations can be a great way to engage students in a practice as preparation for a lab experiment. However, I have also found that they can be a unintentional source of misconceptions and misleading connections if they are not planned and executed well! One of the most important aspects of planning for a great simulation, in which students will make accurate real-world connections, is to be certain ALL building materials and resources necessary for the experience are at your students fingertips! I often create student lesson guides and print multiple pages as booklets to minimize the number of pages students will use during the simulation. I also carefully select student partners and the members of student's small groups formed to complete the simulation.

Additionally I clearly explain, using appropriate content specific terminology, what each component in the simulation represents and encourage students to utilize the representative vocabulary throughout the entire simulation. For example, in this simulation, the yellow pop beads represent the nitrogen base adenine and when attached to a pink pop bead (phosphate group) and a white five-hole bead (sugar) will create a nucleotide or building block of the DNA molecule. Students are not allowed to ask their partner to "Hand me a yellow?" But instead would be directed to ask if their partner could, "Please pass me an adenine so that I can complete my final nucleotide." I admit that small details such as these may seem trivial but have the ability to greatly effect the learning environment and thus the learning potential of the activity!

  Problem-based Approaches: Preparation is KEY for this Simulation!
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The Mystery of the Romanovs

Unit 6: DNA and Detectives: Applications of Genetic Testing
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: The objective of this lesson is to begin our Genetic Testing Unit by creating simulations of the DNA fingerprints of various members of the Romanov family and then comparing and evaluating the DNA fingerprint patterns to establish family relationships.

Big Idea: How can the latest in gene identification technology be used to identify victims of a brutal crime as well as trace genetic disorders present in a family for generations?

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7 teachers like this lesson
Subject(s):
Science, Biotechnology, Forensic Science, genetic testing, Bioethics, DNA Technology, Gel electrophoresis
  90 minutes
dna fingerprint
 
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