Genes and Traits Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn about DNA, mutations, and heredity. The Genes and Traits learning objective— based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
The genetic blueprint of all living things is contained in DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA comes in double helix-shaped strands, made up of pairs of nitrogen bases. The four bases are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.
Sections of DNA contain the code for specific proteins. Each section is called a gene, and large groups of genes form chromosomes. Humans have 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. In reproduction, each parent contributes one chromosome from each pair to their offspring.
Chromosomes that have the same type of gene in the same place are called homologous chromosomes. The corresponding genes, called alleles, can be slightly different even between homologous chromosomes.
When DNA replicates itself, it sometimes does an imperfect job, causing mutations. Since DNA codes for the creation of proteins, these mutations can affect how proteins are made, which in turn affects how traits are expressed in an organism. Mutations can either be neutral, beneficial, or harmful to an organism’s ability to survive.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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