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Botheads Genetic Simulation: Super Value Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Botheads Genetics Simulation Kit for biology and life science is a creative activity that stimulates interest and arouses curiosity in genetics.

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Arouse curiosity and stimulate interest in genetics with this creative activity. What role do inherited characteristics play in the development of an organism's physical appearance? Students select a random set of gene cards (the genotype) and then use these cards and basic genetic principles to design and color their own personal “Bothead” (the phenotype). Next, students “cross-breed” their “bot” with another student in the class to create, draw and color a “hybrid bot.” Students have fun while learning about alleles, dominant and recessive traits, as well as the effect of mutations. Use this low-cost kit as an introduction to genetics or as a culminating review. Includes reproducible student handouts and complete Teacher Notes.Complete for 30 students working in pairs.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
MS-LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
MS-LS3.B: Variation of Traits
HS-LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
HS-LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
HS-LS3.B: Variation of Traits

Crosscutting Concepts

Structure and function
Cause and effect

Performance Expectations

MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.