Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for Nature and nuture

Nature and nurture activities developed and written by Nowgen as part of the Wellcome Trust funded Nowgen School Genomics Project.

Love Rats
In this activity students take on the role of tabloid journalist to write a science news story from a press release. The research is about the role of genes in male marital fidelity.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.7 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (47 KB)

Searching for needles in a DNA-stack
This activity looks more closely at a case control study on the role of genes in cancer. Students compare a news article and an analysis of the original paper from the NHS Behind the Headlines service.
They then have to think about the different attitudes that exist to evidence on links between genes and diseases.
Teacher notes and student sheets (4.9 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (351 KB)

Dyslexia
This activity looks at evidence for how one particular problem, dyslexia, is a product of both genotype and environment. It considers the various brain regions involved in reading and compares dyslexia in other languages such as Chinese or Japanese.
Teacher notes and student sheets (786 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (68 KB)

Problem based learning - Teenage crime - is it a grey and white matter
Are teenagers less responsible for their crimes because their immature brains are less able to control their actions? In this problem based learning activity students investigate this legal defence and produce a short radio news item to discuss the issue, considering the impact of new science on the legal system.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.9 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (62 KB)

Exam style question – anti-social friends
A Unit 3 style exam question on data indicating a genetic risk factor for associating with peers who show anti-social behaviour.
Teacher notes and student sheets (1.5 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (78 KB)

Exam style question – write an information leaflet
A Unit 4 part B style question, in which students have to explain a longitudinal cohort study to potential participants.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.1 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (51 KB)

Case study - the g factor
This activity asks students to consider the validity of IQ tests as a measure of a general intelligence. They then study and answer questions on articles that discuss suggested correlations between IQ and race. (note added Jan 2011) Resource D Part 1 is available in the attachment for 3 months. Part 2 is available online.
Teacher notes and student sheets

A grandparents gift?
This activity looks at data suggesting that epigenetic changes can be inherited. Students answer questions and discuss the evidence and how to explain it.
Teacher notes and student sheets (3.1 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (123 KB)
Epigenetic modification of DNA Powerpoint (200 KB)