Genetics and Evolution Science Fair Projects, Revised and Expanded Using the Scientific Method [NOOK Book]

Overview

Why do some humans have curved thumbs while others have straight thumbs? What is DNA? What happens during cell division? Using easy-to-find materials, young scientists will explore genetics, evolution, and classification, and more—all with the help of the scientific method. For students interested in competing in science fairs, the book contains lots of great suggestions and ideas for further experiments.
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Genetics and Evolution Science Fair Projects, Revised and Expanded Using the Scientific Method

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Overview

Why do some humans have curved thumbs while others have straight thumbs? What is DNA? What happens during cell division? Using easy-to-find materials, young scientists will explore genetics, evolution, and classification, and more—all with the help of the scientific method. For students interested in competing in science fairs, the book contains lots of great suggestions and ideas for further experiments.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-Newman
Part of a series that guides students through biology science fair projects, Genetics and Evolution has the rather daunting task of helping middle school students learn about Darwin, Mendel, and genes. While the book is suggested for ages ten and up, the book's suggested projects get progressively more complicated as the chapters progress. Projects focusing on classification and evolution (i.e., classifying animals and documenting the variations in humans) are in the earlier chapters relating to Classifying Objects. Darwin and the Theory of Evolution are more appropriate for fourth, fifth and sixth graders, while the later projects about genetics and chromosomes are, in general, slightly more complex. For example, two experiments in the chapter on Mendel, Genes, Chromosomes and Models pose the question, "what happens to chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis?" One of the book's best assets is a helpful introduction on how to use the scientific method, why it's important to use the projects as a springboard for original science fair projects and how scientists look for answers. Parents will also appreciate Gardner's emphasis on safety at all times. Additional information includes a brief history of Darwin and Mendel and how their experiments changed science. Overall, Genetics and Evolution Science Fair Projects is a helpful resource for students looking for project ideas, but most children will be lost without some additional explanation about evolution and genetics. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Good starting points for science-fair ideas. Both titles begin with a description of the scientific method and how vital it is to follow it when conducting science research. The books also provide the scientific background necessary to understand the experiments, but Calhoun's information is not as extensive as Gardner's. The process of forming a hypothesis, designing an experiment, recording data, as well as writing and presenting a project are discussed. Calhoun's experiments examine biological diversity, survival needs, and physiological responses and adaptations, Gardner includes entries on classification, evolution, adaptation, and heredity. Experiments include a list of materials required along with the experimental procedure and possible results and conclusions. Highlighted text boxes give further project ideas, and a list of science-supply companies is provided. The uncluttered texts are complemented by illustrations and graphs where necessary. Titles are revised from earlier editions; the introduction is expanded, sources updated, and the layout more appealing. The experiments are not the most exciting and outrageous, but they are doable and cater to a range of abilities. Solid choices.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Genetics and Evolution Experiments and Projects Using the Scientific Method 7

How Scientists Search for Answers 10

Using the Scientific Method in Experiments and Projects 12

Science Fairs 20

Safety First 23

1 Classifying Objects 25

1.1 Classifying 26

1.2 Classified Mail 28

1.3 Classifying Some Metallic Items 35

1.4 Classifying Animals 37

1.5 A Flower to Dissect and Classify 42

1.6 Classifying Flowers 44

2 Darwin and the Theory of Evolution 47

2.1 Darwin and the Beaks of Finches 51

2.2 Seeds Across a Sea 54

2.3 Homologous Parts 59

2.4 Natural Selection and Survival by Color 66

2.5 Variation in Humans 68

2.6 World Population Trends 73

2.7 Population Growth and a Limited Food Supply 78

3 Missing Links, Adaptations, and Evolution Though Time 81

3.1 Evolution and Time Lines 83

3.2 Skin Color 92

3.3 Body Shape, Surface Area, and Rate of Heat Loss 94

3.4 Binocular Vision 97

3.5 Opposable Thumb 99

3.6 A Bipedal Gait and a Big Brain 101

4 Mendel, Genetics, and the Missing Key to Evolution 105

4.1 A Model to Explain Mendel's Initial Experiments 110

4.2 The Role of Probability in Heredity 115

4.3 Modeling the Inheritance of Two Independent Traits 119

5 Mendel, Genes, Chromosomes, and Models 125

5.1 A Model of Mitosis 129

5.2 A Model of Meiosis 131

5.3 A Three-Dimensional Model of DNA 144

5.4 Gene Coding and a Mutation 146

5.5 A Model to Show How DNA Controls the Making of Proteins 148

5.6 Primate Anatomy 151

5.7 Primates and DNA 153

Appendix: Science Supply Companies 156

Further Reading and Internet Addresses 157

Index 158

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