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This unit is suited for students enrolled in Biology and Biology AP. This unit examines the genetic makeup of a disease or medical condition and seeks out possible cures using genetic engineering. This unit is modeled around STEM education and involves project-based learning, which is aligned with the New Generation Science Standards that California schools will soon adopt. This unit is extensive and will be carried out over 8 weeks because it requires students have a proficient understanding of fundamental DNA structure, function, mutations and biotechnology. Cell Biology and Genetics have been the two most interesting units for my students in past years. Although there is a large amount of content to cover, the students are generally engaged in understanding the structure of the most basic unit of life. Students of all learning levels are capable of grasping a basic understanding of the structure of DNA and the purpose of our genes. During my Physiology unit last spring, I observed the intense interest students have in disease and human health. I anticipate the students will be quite engaged when presented with this project because it brings together their knowledge of how genes are determined from DNA and diseases that result.
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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