Genetic Blood Types

Overview & Concepts

Students will write a Microsoft Basic computer program that can be used to determine the possible blood types a child could have based on their parents blood types.

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

Blood Types, RH factors

Prior Knowledge Required: 

Student must have working knowledge of Microsoft Basic programming including parsing strings, arrays, lookup tables and performing logical comparisons

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 

About 3 class periods (40 minutes/ period)

Materials: 

  • Genetic Blood Types Programming Problem handout
  • Computer with Microsoft Basic

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

1.  Introduce the lesson, including the essential question: How do I write a Microsoft Basic computer program that can be used to determine the possible blood types a child could have based on their parents blood types?

  • Consider showing the “What is a Blood Type” PowerPoint or the online animation at brainpop.com (see Resources) at the start of the activity which provides a basic introduction on blood types and genes.

2. Distribute the “Genetic Blood Types” project sheet.  Students do self-paced project work.

  • Teachers might want to work with students to devise a basic flow chart for the problem before students do the actual coding.
  • Teachers might want to simplify the problem by having the blood types of the parents always known and having students provide a computing solution for the child’s unknown blood type.

Assessment: 

Have students check their program results versus the data sets in Figure 1 of the handout. Have students turn in their programs or pair up and check each other.

Extensions: 

  • Students can visit the “Blood Typing Game” website (under Resources) and learn about the critical role blood typing plays in transfusions.
  • Students can survey their classmates for their blood types and see how this compares to the broader statistic.

Resources: 

Acknowledgements: 

These teacher notes and resources were produced by Fred LaPointe.

Academic Standards
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