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A Microscopically Enormous Look at Genetic Inheritance

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Keywords: classification, genetics, science, lab, drosophila, wing, fruit flies, life cycle
Subject(s): Life Science, Science
Grades 9 through 12
School: Highlands Ranch High School, Hghlnds Ranch, CO
Planned By: Michele Renfrow
Original Author: Michele Renfrow, Hghlands Ranch
• To understand how traits are controlled by genes
• To practice and reinforce proper lab write up
• To gather and analyze data
• To hypothesize how genes control the trait of wings in fruit flies

• Instead of having to crowd around the teachers desk to see exact procedures, students are able to CLEARLY see exact procedures on the large screen, resulting in less confusion and fewer errors in procedures.
• With the microscope attachment and the slate, we are able to show “bigger than life” what appears on the slide. We can use the slate to “draw on” and “label” things on the microscope – something that is impossible without the use of technology. This analysis brings to life the procedures used in genetic analysis - - no more guessing about what you should be looking for since everyone can see it.
• Using the slate, each group can add its data to the final chart. I can then save that data from each class to later perform an “all classes” analysis of data.
• This technology allows me to take pictures for use in future handouts and/or exams, eliminating the issue of drawings that differ from what they saw in the lab.
• It also allows me to take and save notes on the fly. Students who were absent or who need additional review will have resources to use at a later time. Special needs students with accommodations could use the notes and visuals to further understanding and to provide materials for Para-professionals, parents, or tutors helping them study.

1. Read background information about Drosophila (fruit fly) including why we study them, what the life cycle process involves, the various stages of metamorphosis, how to care for the flies during the lab, and how to sort and analyze flies to gather accurate data
2. Perform the lab
a. Using the document camera to show steps clearly on the big screen, I would have one group demonstrate how to prepare the vial (using instructions they were given)
b. Place three males and females in the vial
c. After 7 days, we would use the document camera with the microscope attachment to look for evidence of larvae and remove parent flies. Students would take turns using the slate to analyze what they are seeing in the microscope.
d. After 10-12 days when the F2 generation emerges, one group of students will demonstrate using the document camera and microscope attachment how to analyze wing structure.
e. Using the document camera and slate, students will demonstrate how to record data and how to make a Punnett Square for the first cross (P X P = F1)
f. Another group will use the document camera and slate to record data for the F1 Generation and will make a Punnett Square for that cross.
g. All students will use the information from Punnett square 2 to complete the chart listing phenotypes, genotypes, and % or # expected
3. Individually, students will state their Null Hypothesis.
4. Using the document camera and microscope, one group will demonstrate how to examine the flies and record group data.
Normal Wing Apterpis Total

5. Performa a Chi Square analysis for YOUR results showing calculations and work
6. Using the slate, each group will add their results to the chart above so that students can analyze data for the entire class and perform a Chi Square analysis for class results.
7. Answer the following questions
a. According to the Chi Square regarding your group's data, do you have to accept or reject your null hypothesis? Write that information in the correct format.
b. If you had to reject your null hypothesis, state at least one reason for this difference. Explain how these factors affected your results. If you accepted your null hypothesis you may omit this question unless you know you made a mistake
c. Why is it necessary to look at class data and not just your group's data?
This lesson plan is merely one example of the many lessons in Genetics and Biology that would make very good use of the technology I am requesting. During a demonstration at parent/teacher conferences, many parents commented about how nice that would have been when they were in Science. A former student commented that this would have helped her do better and understand more than what she did by squeezing around the teacher's desk trying to see what to do or listening to his vague description of where we should be looking in the microscope. I have borrowed the tools for one lab and the difference in accuracy of work was tremendous.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Technical writing skills
We will continue to use fruit flies to analyze genetics. Students will have quizzes and exams.
Links: Link to Flies in Space (A NASA project on flies)
Materials: Microscopes
Other Items: 1 AverVision VISNCP300 Document Camera, $438.00 each, total of $438.00
1 Microscope Adapter, $60.00 each, total of $60.00
1 Smart Slate, $289.00 each, total of $289.00