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8th Grade Science Unit: Genetics and Evolution

8th Grade Science Unit: Genetics and Evolution
Posted on 03/03/2015
Scientists from the Broad Institute have partnered with the 8th grade Science team to help volunteer and inspire our students during their unit of Genetics & Evolution.

ScienceThe project involves partnering Broad Institute Scientists with Cambridge Public School 8th Grade Science teachers to develop and implement a 10-week Genetics and Evolution Unit. Together, we hope to design and evolve a curriculum that highlights real world implications/applications, that engages students and helps them understand the practice of science, and that positively affects their sense of their interest in and ability to do science.

So far, students have heard from "their scientists" Josh Bittker (an Amigos parent) and Sara Marlow. Josh and Sara come to visit our Science class on Fridays. They have presented what they do and what they are working on. Josh helped to orchestrate our activity making DNA models of the gene that causes sickle cell anemia versus the gene that codes for normal red blood cells.

ScienceThey have helped the students to extract DNA from various fruit as well as their own cells.

After students learned about the Human Genome Project, Josh helped to design a kinesthetic activity to show how scientists decode DNA. The students then performed a paper-cutting activity that helped them understand how DNA can be sequenced.

We are all learning so much. We all love having Josh and Sara visit. They are having a blast too!

Laurie Ferhani
Science Teacher, 6-8