Growth & Genetics

Feeding the Population

Content Type:
Time to Complete:
75 minutes (5 15-minute lessons)

Espeth is experiencing a food shortage! Botanist Zed thinks that he has the answer: rapid-growing tuffets that can be planted and harvested in the blink of an eye! Unfortunately, he's having difficulties getting the right genes to be passed down through the generations, and the clock is ticking. Help Zed create the perfect tuffet to save Espeth!

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Standards Covered

MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms. MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.

Anchoring Phenomena & Topics Covered

increase crop yield for a food shortage; punnett squares, asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, selective breeding, pollination, environmental factors

Real World Connections

Science has critical applications to meaningful areas like addressing food shortages. Farmers to botanists work to increase crop yield using a variety of scientific methods and knowledge.

Teacher Guide

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Become a Tuffet Farmer

Councilwoman Nassim comes to you for help: we expect an upcoming food shortage, and need to increase food yield!

Help Zed find the perfect cultivar to cross-breed with his new, experimental tuffet. Which genes should the cultivar have to ensure the highest chances of offspring inheriting desirable traits and avoiding undesirable ones?

Create the Perfect Environment

There's more to plant cultivation than good genes! Does environment play a role in an organism's phenotype as well? Players perform experiments to see if the perfect environmental conditions have a positive effect on tuffet growth patterns.

Feed the Population!

Once players have selectively bred the perfect seedlings for mass distribution, they'll need to explain their methods to the council member in charge of Espeth's food supply. Espeth will be safe from starvation!

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