Genetics Badge
(Discover Science and Technology)
By Kerry Cordy

Genetics is the study of genes and heredity, the things that make you, and every living thing, what they are.


You may use any higher level requirement as optional requirements.


Penguin: Do three requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Have you ever been told you look like your mom or dad? Find at least three genetic traits that have been passed down in your family for at least three generations (grandparent, parent, child). This might be an eye color, hair type, skin color, nose shape, etc. Maybe your family is known for large feet, or lots of freckles. Genetic diseases like psoriasis may also be passed down. If you cannot do this exercise with your own family, do it with a friend’s.

_____2.* Compare two plants of the same variety either in your yard or at a park. How are they similar? How are they different? Do you have roses? Are they all the same color? Same size? Discuss how genetics affect how each plant looks (or smells!).


Otter: Do four requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Penguin requirements 1 & 2.

_____2.* Understand what is meant by dominant and recessive. Who was Gregory Mendall and how did his experiment with peas effect the study of genetics?


Dolphin: Do five requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Otter requirements 1 & 2.

_____2.* Create a Punnett square for two gene types. For example, you could use brown eyes (dominant) and blue eyes (recessive). What would be the results of one brown eyed parent and one blue eyed parent. What if the brown eyed parent had one blue gene?


Butterfly: Do six requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Dolphin requirements 1 & 2.

_____2.* Create a model of a double helix and label the parts.


Eagle: Do seven requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Butterfly requirements 1 & 2.

_____2.* Understand and explain the following genetic terms:

  • phenotype
  • genotype
  • hybrid
  • alleles
  • X chromosome
  • Y chromosome
  • gene mapping
  • mutation
  • heterozygous
  • homozygous


Owls: Do nine requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Eagle requirements 1 & 2

_____2.* Teach someone how to do a skill from this badge or teach some knowledge about this badge to someone. You can teach kids, your spouse, seniors, anyone, just as long as you are sharing your new found knowledge. If for some reason you cannot teach what you have learned to someone else, you may choose an additional 2 optional requirements instead.


Optional Requirements:

_____3. Learn about three genetic diseases. What are the symptoms? Are they dominant or recessive? Are there treatments or cures? What challenges does a person with this disease face in life?

_____4. Find out what the human genome project is and how it is affecting the science of genetics.

_____5. Stem cell research is a controversial genetic subject. Learn about the process and make a list of pros and cons for continuing this type of research. What conclusions do you come to? Why?

_____6. Learn about genetically modified foods. What are the benefits and dangers of this type of genetic manipulation?

_____7. Participate in a service project that relates to genetics. You may wish to participate in a fundraiser to support research for a genetic disease, or create a game or booklet to teach genetics to younger kids.

_____8. Learn about careers within the field of genetics. Choose one and find out what education you would need, salary you could expect, where you might have to live, etc.

_____9. Read a book or magazine about genetics.

_____10. Complete the Genetics with a Smile activity found here.

_____11. Play a game that teaches about genetics.

_____12. Visit someone who works in the field of genetics or have them come and speak at your meeting.

Helpful Resources

Think Quest – Genetics for Kids

Exploring Nature – Genetics for Kids

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