FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – DSM Earth Processes

Students explore the elements shaping the characteristics of our features and the genetics of our makeup. Modeling activities combine with microslide images to help students decipher the codes of life. Students trace the characteristics of their own features to proteins and then even further to the genetic material inside the nucleus in every cell in their bodies. Students identify cell structures and functions and the chromosomes and genes that determine unique traits. Using base-pair models of double-helix DNA molecules, they study DNA replication and DNA transcription to messenger RNA. They investigate how and where mutations can occur, and they compare animal cells to bacterial and virus cells. Then, as the perspective changes, students consider some cutting-edge applications of biotechnology as they explore genetic engineering, DNA fingerprinting, and the Human Genome Project.

In the Delta Science Reader DNA—From Genes to Proteins, students find out about cell theory and the role of cells as the building blocks of life in all organisms. They read about the compounds that make up cells and how specialized cells differ in structure and function. Next, students discover how cells work to gather, release, store, and use energy to carry out life processes. Students learn about a key life process, growth, as they explore the cell cycle. They find out about genes, chromosomes, and DNA. They learn how traits are passed from generation to generation through heredity and how natural selection operates. Finally, students are introduced to the researchers who constructed the double-helix model of the DNA molecule and to the Human Genome Project.