Reproduction and Gene Transfer Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn about the processes of sexual and asexual reproduction, and their pros and cons. The Reproduction and Gene Transfer 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.
Living things create offspring by one of two methods: asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction.
Asexual reproduction requires just one parent, which creates a genetic clone of itself. Some organisms reproduce asexually through the process of mitosis, where a cell simply divides and clones itself.
Sexual reproduction requires two parents. Their reproductive cells undergo meiosis, dividing into four parts called haploid gametes. Each gamete carries half of the parent cell’s genetic information, so when two parents’ gametes come together, they form a full set of genes.
Each form of reproduction has its pros and cons. Asexual reproduction is convenient because there is no need to find a mate, but it also has the disadvantage of reducing genetic variation within the species. On the other hand, sexual reproduction involves finding a mate, which can be difficult, but it helps the species by producing genetically distinct offspring.
Different asexual organisms have different ways of reproducing. Some, like starfish, split into pieces which grow into new organisms through the process of *fragmentation*. Similarly, strawberries and some other plants grow from parts of another plant, which is called *vegetative propagation*.
Bacteria and some amoeba use a type of cell division called *binary fission*. Some animals use *parthenogenesis*, growing an embryo without fertilization. Finally, *budding* occurs when an organism grows a bud on itself that develops into offspring.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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