Students use coins to simulate how alleles separate during meiosis. One student plays the father, and one plays the mother, a coin flip then determines the traits of their theoretical offspring. Multiple coin flips are used to simulate polygenetic traits, such as hair color and eye color. Students get a sense of how genes separate during the formation of egg and sperm and then recombine during the formation a zygote.
Finally, students construct a drawing of their simulated offspring and answer questions regarding Mendelian genetics.
Grade level: 8-12 | Time required: 1-1.5 hours
HS-LS3-3 Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population