Marriages Abound in Biology Lesson on Genetics

Mia McKell, Staff Writer

Students in Tiffany Oliver’s junior biology class participated in mock “marriage ceremonies” Thursday as an interactive way to understand human genetics.

“We are learning about human traits and what happens when you cross autosomal traits, and so instead of doing normal crosses on paper I like to mix it up and have fun,” Oliver said.

The fake weddings were used to pair up student couples who created imaginary “babies”. After the students were randomly put into pairs, they then combined their genetic traits on paper to see what their children would look like.

“We make three babies per couple,” Oliver said. “That’s to show that even though you are starting with the same genes you can get different mixes every time because you don’t know what genes will match up to form the baby.”

Megan Purol (’17) was married to friend Charlotte Tuohy (’17) for the activity.

“We list our traits and list which ones are dominant and which ones are recessive to see how the dominant traits overrule the recessive ones,” Purol said.

At the end of class, the “couples” had the option of leaving class married, getting a divorce or going to marriage counseling.

For the students, the lesson was more enticing than more typical methods like lectures and note-taking.

“This was definitely more fun,” said Sammy Baker (’17). “Mrs. Oliver is the best.”