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Genetics in Seaport Academy

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How do we learn about mitosis and meiosis at Seaport Academy? Through lecture and discussion; animations and diagrams – and hands-on modeling with Twizzlers flavored licorice!


Once we have discussed and built the process, we draw out the steps.


We use Punnet squares to study Mendelian inheritance, the simplest way that traits are inherited. Our key question is, How can we use probability to predict traits?  We physically model how this works with M&M candies.



Learning Standards

HS-LS1-1. Construct a model of transcription and translation to explain the roles of DNA and RNA that code for proteins that regulate and carry out essential functions of life.

Clarification Statements: Proteins that regulate and carry out essential functions of life include enzymes (which speed up chemical reactions), structural proteins (which provide structure and enable movement), and hormones and receptors (which send and receive signals). The model should show the double-stranded structure of DNA, including genes as part of DNA’s transcribed strand, with complementary bases on the nontranscribed strand.

State Assessment Boundaries: Specific names of proteins or specific steps of transcription and translation are not expected in state assessment. Cell structures included in transcription and translation will be limited to nucleus, nuclear membrane, and ribosomes for state assessment.

HS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to show how DNA in the form of chromosomes is passed from parents to offspring through the processes of meiosis and fertilization in sexual reproduction.

Clarification Statement: The model should demonstrate that an individual’s characteristics (phenotype) result, in part, from interactions among the various proteins expressed by one’s genes (genotype)

State Assessment Boundary: Identification of specific phases of meiosis or the biochemical mechanisms involved are not expected in state assessment.

HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that genetic variations (alleles) may result from (a) new genetic combinations via the processes of crossing over and random segregation of chromosomes during meiosis, (b) mutations that occur during replication, and/or (c) mutations caused by environmental factors. Recognize that mutations that occur in gametes can be passed to offspring.

Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence of genetic variation can include the work of McClintock in crossing over of maize chromosomes and the development of cancer due to DNA replication errors and UV ray exposure.

State Assessment Boundary: Specific phases of meiosis or identification of specific types of mutations are not expected in state assessment.

HS-LS3-3. Apply concepts of probability to represent possible genotype and phenotype combinations in offspring caused by different types of Mendelian inheritance patterns.

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