5-Part Plan Lesson and Activity Template

Bitter Genetics
5-Part Plan Title:
Engineering Grand Challenge(s)
Fellow Contributor:
Grade Level(s):
Bitter Genetics
Engineer Better Medicines, Advance
Personalized Learning
Adam Roth
Subject Area(s): Biology
Associated Unit or Associated Lesson: Genetics
Time Required: 30 minutes
Group Size: 2 students
Expendable Cost per Group: $1.00
Summary: This activity is best used when learning Punnett squares. Students will taste the PTC
paper and report on how it tastes to them. The students will then taste the sodium benzoate paper
and see how it tastes to them. PTC will be bitter or have no taste at all while sodium benzoate will
have a variety of tastes reported. PTC tasting can be described as a dominant trait with nontasting being recessive. Sodium benzoate can be described as a polygenic trait with unknown
inheritance properties. Sodium benzoate can be used to illustrate how there is much still to be
learned in the developing field of genomic research. Students should try to develop Punnett
squares based on their potential genetic profiles and think of potential models for the inheritance of
sodium benzoate tasting.
7. Engineering Connection: Genetic Engineering
8. Engineering Category: (1, 2 or 3) see list from Activity Template Description (Systems Thinking)
9. Key Search words: genetics, Punnett squares, taste, medicine
10. Educational Standards: See attached standards grid for a complete mapping of all pertinent STEM
a. Common Core Math Standards: none
b. NC Essential Science Standards: 5.L.3.1-2, 7.L.2.3, 8.L.4.2, Bio.3.1.3, Bio3.3.1-2, Bio3.4.23, Bio3.5.1
c. NC Engineering Connection Standards:
d. Next Generation Science Standards: MS-LS3-1, MS-LS3-2,;MS-LS4-4, 4-5; MS-LS4-6; HSLS3-1, 3-2, 3-3; HS-LS4-1, 4-2; HS-LS4-4; HS-LS4-5
11. Pre-Requisite Knowledge: biology, genetic inheritance
12. Learning Objectives (After this activity, students should be able to): effectively describe simple
dominant inheritance
13. Materials List: attached
14. Introduction / Motivation: The motivation of this activity is to better understand genetics.
15. Vocabulary / Definitions:
simple dominance – a pattern of inheritance where the presence of one trait will be observed in an
individual who has two alleles
heterozygous – an individual with two different alleles
homozygous – an individual with two copies of the same allele
polygenic inheritance – a pattern of inheritance that cannot be explained from a single locus
16. Procedure:
 Background: Introduce Punnett squares and various inheritance patterns
 Before the Activity: Explain safety of tasting compounds, warn about bitterness
 With the Students and Cleanup: Place used tasting paper in cups when complete
17. Attachments: If you have worksheets, include them as an attachment
18. Safety Issues: None
Filename: Bitter Genetics 5-Part Lesson Activity Template.docx
19. Troubleshooting Tips: None
20. Investigating Questions: How is sodium benzoate tasting inherited?
21. Assessment: Draw Punnett squares for both tasting tests (multiple correct answers for sodium
a. Pre-Activity Assessment:
b. Activity Embedded Assessment:
c. Post-Activity Assessment:
22. Activity Extensions:
23. Activity Scaling:
24. Additional Multimedia Support:
25. References:
a. For Books
b. For Websites
c. For Magazine Articles
d. For Journal Articles
26. Other Information about the plan:
27. Contributors: Adam Roth, Nancy Shaw
28. Supporting Program: Duke Boeing Grand Challenge K12 Outreach Fellows Program
29. Acknowledgements:
30. Classroom Testing Information:
31. Documentation for use of Photos or Images:
 Figure #
 Image filename
 ADA description
 Source/Rights: Copyright
 Caption
Filename: Bitter Genetics 5-Part Lesson Activity Template.docx