The study of genetics came to life for biology students as they built their own creatures. They took genetics from the molecular (DNA) level all the way to the physical traits in a lab. They built models of the chromosomes that came from each parent to display not only the genes inherited, but the alleles (different versions of the genes) inherited. How do you determine a pretend creature's DNA? A coin flip made the call. From there, they assessed the combination of alleles to predict the physical characteristics and then built their creature. Their creature's genes revealed whether they would have floppy ears, a beak, or wings, for example. Lastly, a game of natural selection was played to see how physical traits influence their creature’s ability to survive in a changing environment.



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