Posts tagged Education
I normally approach each lesson as though I am about to perform on stage. If I am feeling agitated or unhappy I force myself to push aside those feelings and show my excitement about the topic we are about to discuss. I have noticed that lately I have been stuck in a state of boredom when it comes to teaching. I have tried various tricks to get myself out of the rut. Thinking about the needs of the students and why I love teaching seems to help me the most.
I have to remind myself that the students I work with have a lot More >
We have several holiday traditions at my house, which include baking cookies, decorating the house, and of course the tree. I have a love-hate relationship with my Christmas tree every year. Not a holiday season goes by without me cursing the tree and its insidious needles throughout the house. Oh, and don’t forget the ornaments that the dog just can’t keep out of her mouth. But the smell of the tree is all I need to get in the holiday spirit!
Interestingly enough, the Spruce, a very common Christmas tree species, has seven times more DNA than a human. How is that, you More >
If you’re a geneticist, it’s likely that your experiments are not on humans, even if you’re studying human diseases. This is a concept we spend a great deal of time discussing with the 5th-8th graders who visit the DNA Learning Center. It’s hard for a youngster, and many adults for that matter, to understand how a worm or a bug might have anything in common with a human, nonetheless anything worth studying!
The most mystifying of the model organisms is the plant. How could a scientist possibly learn anything about human genetics from a plant? One popular model from the plant More >
Why do you look the way you do? There are many ways to answer this question, but essentially it all comes down to the information in your DNA and the proteins your cells make. Your DNA contains genes that code for proteins. Different proteins have different functions, each contributing to your various traits and functions.
Why do we often see similar traits among parents and offspring? We inherit our DNA from our mother and father. This means we have half of our genes, or recipes, from our mom and half from our dad. Even with this basic idea, it can be More >
I love to talk about the biology behind how life works with other people. Some of the best conversations I have ever had have been with fifth graders learning about DNA. I am amazed that they know an incredible amount of information relating to genetics, way more than I ever knew when I was their age.
I currently teach genetics and molecular biology to middle school students, high school students, teachers, and the general public. One of the greatest skills I have learned in my current position is the importance of engaging your audience and making the material you are introducing More >
As a teacher, I find that the presentation of classical Mendelian inheritance is important, but can be misleading. Do genes always follow the rules that the “Father of Genetics” observed in his garden? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Mendel and his contribution to genetics, but the exceptions seem much more interesting!
For example, many genes are pleiotropic, meaning they affect more than one phenotype. How about the recent development on red heads and anasthetics? I happen to live with a red head, from a long line of red heads, so in our family this was a topic of discussion for days. The mutation More >