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Behind the Story: The Genetics of Fairytales

from Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab at Marian University

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Behind the Story is a unique approach to the introduction of genetics. Using beloved stories of students? early years, we will explore such topics as DNA and Punnett squares. A look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs engages students in a discussion of heredity. Were those magic beans in Jack & the Beanstalk really genetically modified food? This hilarious and informative program will leave student with a fresh perspective of the tales of their youth!

Program Rating

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About This Program


Multipoint: $125.00
Point to Point: $125.00
By Request: $125.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8

Minimum participants:

No Minimum

Maximum participants:

For optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 30 students.

Primary Disciplines


Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

Policies and Procedures To schedule a program, please contact an educator at 317.524.7701 or We recommend that programs be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance. All programs are subject to availability. Due to the nature of scheduling, any cancellation or program change must be received within 48 hours of the program; otherwise you will be charged 100% of the program fee.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

The full fee will be charged to sites canceling with less than 48 hours notice. Some exceptions may apply.

About This Provider

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Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab at Marian University

Indianapolis, IN
United States

We provide quality experiences that promote science learning for students, educators, and the general public. The Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab at Marian University provides participants with lively demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on life science discovery based on Indiana State Education and National Science Education standards.

Janice Slaughter

Program Details


1. Students will be participating in activities and stories to better understand genetic principles.
2. Students will determine genetic probabilities using punnet squares.
3. Students will learn about real world examples of genetics.


1.To introduce students to the basics of genetics
2.To increase students' understanding of inheritance
3.To enhance students' awareness of current trends in genetic research

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please visit for more information.

State Standards

Science Standards
The Nature of Science & Technology
6.1.2 Give examples of different ways scientists investigate natural phenomena and identify processes all scientists use, such as collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations, in order to make sense of evidence.
7.1.5 Identify some important contributions to the advancement of science, mathematics ands technology that have been made by different kinds of people, in different cultures, at different times.
8.1.1 Recognize that and describe how scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at observations in a new way.
8.1.8 Explain that humans help shape the future by generating knowledge, developing new technologies and communicating ideas to others.

Scientific Thinking
7.2.5 Estimate the probabilities of outcomes in familiar situations on the basis of history or the number of possible outcomes.
7.2.8 Question claims based on vague attributes such as "Leading Doctors say." or on statements made by celebrities or others outside their particular area of expertise.
8.2.7 Participate in group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and expressing alternative positions.

The Living Environment
6.4.5 Investigate and explain that all living things are composed of cells whose details are usually visible only through a microscope.
7.4.1 Explain that similarities among organisms are found in external and internal anatomical features, including specific characteristics at the cellular level, such as number of chromosomes. Understand that these similarities are used to classify organisms since they may be used to infer the degree of relatedness among organisms.
7.4.3 Explain how in sexual reproduction, a single specialized cell from a female merges with a specialized cell from a male and this fertilized egg carries genetic information from each parent and multiplies to form the complete organism.
8.4.1 Differentiate between inherited traits, such as hair color and acquired skills such as manners.
8.4.2 Describe that in some organisms, all genes come from a single parent, while in those that have sexes, typically half of the genes come from each parent.
8.4.3 Recognize that new varieties of cultivated plants and domestic animals have resulted in selective breeding for particular traits.

The Mathematical World
6.5.6 Predict the frequency of the occurrence of future events based on data.

Common Themes
7.7.2 Use different models to represent the same thing, noting that the kind of model and its complexity should depend on its purpose.

Molecules and Cells
B.1.1 Recognize that and explain how the many cells in an individual can be very different from one another, even though they are all descended from a single cell and thus have essentially identical genetic instructions. Understand that different parts of the genetic instructions are used in different types of cells and are influenced by the cell's environment and past history.
B.1.2 Explain that every cell is covered by a membrane that controls what can enter and leave the cell. Recognize that in all but quite primitive cells, a complex network of proteins provides organization and shape. In addition, understand that flagella and/or cilia may allow some Protista, some Monera, and some animal cells to move.
B.1.3 Know and describe that within the cell are specialized parts for the transport of materials, energy capture and release, protein building, waste disposal, information feedback, and movement. In addition to these basic cellular functions common to all cells, understand that most cells in multicellular organisms perform some special functions that others do not.

B.1.21 Understand and explain that the information passed from parents to offspring is transmitted by means of genes which are decoded in DNA molecules.
B.1.24 Explain that gene mutations can be caused by such things as radiation and chemicals. Understand that when they occur in sex cells, the mutations can be passed on to offspring.
B.1.26 Demonstrate how the genetic information in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules and that this is virtually the same mechanism for all life forms.

Mathematics Standards
6.6.5 Use data to estimate the probability of future events.
6.6.6 Understand and represent probabilities as ratios, measures of relative frequency, decimals between 0 and 1, and percentages between 0 and 100 and verify that the probabilities computed are reasonable.

English/Language Arts Standards
Listening and Speaking
6.7.3 Restate and carry out multiple-step oral instructions and directions.
7.7.1 Ask questions to elicit information, including evidence to support the speaker's claims and conclusions.
8.7.1 Paraphrase a speaker's purpose and point of view and ask questions concerning the speaker's content, delivery, and attitude toward the subject.