Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#4384. Technology and Genetics

Science, level: Senior
Posted Wed Apr 29 15:56:56 PDT 2009 by Abhinav Krishnan (Abhinav Krishnan).
Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
Materials Required: Podcast maker, Smiley Face Template, etc.
Activity Time: 1 class period and 10 min the next day.
Concepts Taught: Mendelian Genetics and Podcast Making

Gregory Mendel, greatly impacted the field of genetics and through his research genetic-engineering, etc exist today. Hereditary is a commonplace subject that every child has heard,"You look just like your father", therefore, students after creating smiley faces will see the similarities and differences between their"smiley" faces. Use a webcast feature to film what traits are observed and use the production for other classes to compare. Allow the students to develop a podcast of what they think inheritance is and discuss their interpretations of the webcast.


Give students the ability to apprehend what inheritance is and how it can be identified by looking at ones parents and grand-parents. Also, from experiment identify what inheritance really is and its implications on students lives, and allow them to discuss aloud using podcasting and webcasting.

-Discuss Emerging Technology Resources

Learning Resources and Materials
1) A penny
2) Smiley Face Templates
3) Microsoft Word
4) iTunes: podcast maker
5) .mp3 viewer

Development of Lesson

During this activity students use pennies to determine the traits for a smily face and then use Microsoft Word to create the smiley face. After students have completed the faces, the instructor shall webcast the results of what is evident and which faces have a disease and allow the students to discuss in the podcast what the subsequent generations will have based on the traits and/or the carrier of the mutation.


First 20 min of class.
1) Lecture to the students about Genetics: inheritance, etc.
2) Have the students each make a smiley face using a penny to flip for the traits they would like.
3) Once finished ask prescribed questions about inheritance and other genetics questions.

Next 30 minutes of class

1) Film the data and within the film tell what traits the faces have based on templates and whether the smileys have a mutation or not.

2) Lecture about the developments of genetic technology and other emerging technologies such as podcast and webcast making.

3) Have the students go home and download the free podcast maker and create a podcast describing what any future generations would have if they were match with someone just like the individual they created.

4) Have them further discuss the anything else that comes to mind.

5) Have students e-mail the podcasts to the instructor or bring them to class the next day.

Next day for 10-15 min:
1) Discuss with the class how they liked the idea of using the podcast and teach them of using those as either note-taking aids when reading over lectures or reminders.

2) Also discuss the benefits of webcasts in making short-films for class.


1) Connect with another classes and share your results with them.

2) Allow students to summarize the similarities and differences between the smileys created in your class and those in another class. Challenge students to pair up two smileys as "new" parents and then flip a penny to determine the traits for a new baby.

3) For students with disabilites allow the instructors to aid in their coin toss and work with them increating their smiley faces.

4) For the ELL students underscore to them the concept and have them work within a group to come up with their faces.


Based on podcasts, the instructor will base how well the students understood the material and whether they understood the concepts thoroughly. Also based on the discussion of podcastsassess whether the students really liked them.


I feel that this is a great project and will be a great asset to teachers and students alike. It combines a biology subject area with technology which is what many researchers and college lecturers use to teach and understand material.

Teacher Reflection

This was a great experiment and as mentioned before allow the students to discuss how technology really helped in aiding in their learning and how they liked it when combined with biology.