PA 11th grade academic standards for mathematics

DNA Surveillance Unit: Is That an Endangered Whale You’re Eating?

In order to better understand DNA fingerprinting and its real world applications, students will use a real genomic site, DNA Surveillance, based in New Zealand, to test whale samples against a standard database. This is done to monitor the sale of protected whale species in Japanese fish markets. Read more about DNA Surveillance Unit: Is That an Endangered Whale You’re Eating?

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Phylogenetic Trees, Part 1: Pairwise Alignment of Related DNA / Protein Sequences using the LCS Algorithm

This lesson is the 1st in a unit on constructing Phylogenetic Trees from DNA or Protein Sequences. Students build an Excel spreadsheet to model the simplest implementation of the LCS (Longest Common Subsequence) algorithm in order to calculate the degree of homology between 2 sequences. Read more about Phylogenetic Trees, Part 1: Pairwise Alignment of Related DNA / Protein Sequences using the LCS Algorithm

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Blood Critters in GridWorld

Students will use the GridWorld case study to create BloodCritters that extend the Critter class. These BloodCritters will have two alleles for their blood types and will be able to reproduce, randomly giving their children one allele each. These two alleles will determine the child's blood type. The color of each critter will be determined based on the blood type. Read more about Blood Critters in GridWorld

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Proteins Found in Fetal Pig Organs

Students will be investigating the proteins that are found in different types of tissues from their dissection of the fetal pig.  This will end the unit on the dissection of the fetal pig, but transition into the unit on tissues. The use of gel electrophoresis will enable the students to determine which proteins are found in different tissues. Read more about Proteins Found in Fetal Pig Organs

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Inquiry Lab: Identifying Bacteria using Morphology, Physiology, and Molecular Data

Bacteria are prokaryotic organisms that can be found almost anywhere on earth.  Identifying prokaryotic species can be difficult in a high school lab.  The purpose of this lab it to use information that is known about bacteria cell wall composition, size, shape, arrangements, enzymatic activity, colony growth, and molecular data (DNA) to identify species (or group of prokaryotes) of known and Read more about Inquiry Lab: Identifying Bacteria using Morphology, Physiology, and Molecular Data

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A Student-Centered Guide to Bioengineering

Online activities, videos, and hands-on labs allow students to visualize and practice bioengineering techniques and concepts in this week-long unit.  Students will learn about DNA extraction, restriction enzymes, gel electrophoresis, PCR, and DNA sequencing by answering a series of questions based on videos, diagrams, and prior knowledge. Read more about A Student-Centered Guide to Bioengineering

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Canine Case Studies: Using Pedigrees and DNA Sequencing to Solve Problems

Dogs and genetics meet in two case studies that encourage students to be detectives.  In the first case study, students will use a pedigree to solve a problem about a genetic disorder in a specific dog breed.  In the second case study, students will use maps, graphs, and DNA sequencing to determine what animal “meat” is being used in two different brands of dog food.   Read more about Canine Case Studies: Using Pedigrees and DNA Sequencing to Solve Problems

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In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

This activity will place the concepts of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium into a contemporary context.  During the activity students will interpret data from real-time PCR and use it to calculate allele frequencies.  These allele frequencies will then serve as a hypothetical founder population, for which students will run simulations using Allele A1 software to predict possible future allele frequen Read more about In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

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The Power of Mitochondrial DNA: The Case of the Disappeared Children of Argentina

The Power of Mitochondrial DNA: The Case of the Disappeared Children of Argentina is a real world application of the use of mtDNA to solve a problem.  Students assume the role of scientists who work to determine paternity and maternity relationships in custody battles and incidences of abduction.  Students must help four families try to find lost infants that were given to other families after Read more about The Power of Mitochondrial DNA: The Case of the Disappeared Children of Argentina

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