Story by Janie Bartling
What does the genotype bb mean? Blue eyes!
Eighth grade science students are learning about Punnett Squares and genetics. Abby Ingersoll, eighth grade, described the Punnett Square as a chart that uses the traits of two different things to determine the possible genetics of their offspring. The results of the Punnett Squares can show the possible hair colors, eye colors, nose shapes, and more, of the offspring.
One way the students learned about this topic was by creating an image of a person using Punnett Squares and their knowledge about genetics. Addison Joyce, eighth grade, said they found the traits of their person by flipping a coin with one red and one yellow side. Each side represented a dominant or recessive trait of their person. They then put this information together to find what the skin or eye color might look like.
Many students enjoyed this activity. “I really liked this activity because I liked the coloring because we don’t get to do that very often,”Ingersoll stated. Joyce agreed with Ingersoll by saying. “The coloring was fun because it was a nice break from notes and we learned a lot in a hands on way.”
Another aspect of the project students liked was the surprise of what their drawings were going to look like when they finished, and how they got creative freedom on some of the traits they were drawing.
“My person has yellow skin and long hair. It’s a boy and the eyes are red. I really enjoyed finally seeing what my person looked like when all the traits were put together because I had no idea what it would look like until the end,” Joyce said.
Ingersoll said, “My favorite part of the project was getting to choose my hair color. The hair color was not one of the assigned traits, so I got to choose whatever colors I wanted.”
This activity was not only enjoyable, but it was very informative and taught students a lot. Siri Surapaneni said, “The reason we made these drawings was to provide a fun way to learn first hand about genetics. I think I learned more from this than taking notes.”
After doing this activity, students were able to take their knowledge about genetics and apply it to their Shark Tank Projects.
“I was able to use Punnett Squares in my Shark Tank Presentation to find the traits of the offspring of two different species. The drawing activity was really effective because I was able to find the traits of something that’s not even genetically possible, which was really cool,” Siri Surapaneni said.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.