A hands-on activity in which students apply the principles of Mendelian genetics to analyze the results of genetic crosses between stickleback fish with different traits. Students use photos of actual research specimens (the F1 and F2 cards) to obtain their data; they will then analyze the data they collected along with additional data from the scientific literature. In the extension activity, students use chi-square analysis to determine the significance of genetic data.
Appropriate for:high school biology (all levels)
Note: This lab was published April 2013 and updated May 2015 to incorporate feedback from field testers.
"After watching the first five minutes of the short film, Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies, I give my 11th and 12th grade biotechnology students this activity. The activity and film combined expose my students to genetics and chi-square analysis and serves as an excellent review of materials they learned in Biology I. The best part is that this activity provides meaningful context while requiring students to collect data in order to determine whether or not a trait is dominant or recessive. In other words, students don't just solve a genetics problem based on a scenario; rather, they act as scientists involved in an exciting story."