Medical Problem Solving Webquest

Overview & Concepts

The webquest uses the same story and data as Case 1, but differs in approach. Students take on the roles of a doctor and a geneticist at The Clinic for Special Children. Together, they follow the steps of the webquest to diagnose and treat a young boy. 

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

Genetics, 10K microarray, BLAST, DNA sequencing, medical problem solving, PCR 

Prior Knowledge Required: 

genetics basics, biotechnology & bioinformatics basics, BLAST & OMIM 

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 

5-8 Days


  • MPS Webquest.doc, John's 10K Microarray Data, and User Guides (BLAST, OMIM, and Microarray Data)
  • Computers for all students
  • Teacher computer with projection capability to demonstrate as necessary 

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

  1. Introduction:  How are all these biotechnology & bioinformatics applications actually used in the real world?
  2. New Material:
    • Students will work in pairs to solve an inquiry-based, real-life medical problem through an interactive webquest.
    • Students use the MPS Webquest handout, data file, and user guides.
    • Minimal teacher instruction is necessary; observation & assistance are key to the success of the students.
    • Guidance can be increased or decreased depending on the students and the desired level of inquiry.
  3. Conclusion: Discuss the how the medical problem was solved & how modern technology has revolutionized medicine.


Actively monitor student work and individuals' understandings of the concepts as students do the activity.  The MPS Medical Report can be completed at the conclusion of the activity. 



Jen Maffeo created this lesson. Krista Roe created supplemental materials to assist in differentiation. All information, user guides and other data was adapted from an activity used during the 2009 Bioinformatics Seminar at Franklin & Marshall College, in conjunction with The Clinic for Special Children. Biology department faculty from F&M College and doctors from The Clinic designed the original activity this WebQuest is based on.

Academic Standards
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