Thanks to two brilliant scientists/mathematicians, we now have a mathematical model for detecting changes in the gene pool of a population. German physician, Wilhelm Weinberg and British mathematician Godfrey Hardy worked independently to show that allele frequencies in a population tend to remain the same from generation to generation unless acted upon by outside influences. This is called Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and is based on a set of assumptions about a population that is not evolving:
1. There are no mutations.
2. There is no migration.
3. The population is large.
4. There is random mating.
5. There is no natural selection
Since no population is free of these agents of change, the Hardy-Weinberg equation allows us to detect changes in the gene pool from one generation to the next.
The Hardy-Weinberg equation:
p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1
This lab simulation is sure to help your students understand:
1. How changes in the gene pool result in evolution.
2. How to use the Hardy-Weinberg equation to determine the frequency of alleles in a population.
In this lab simulation, the students in the classroom will mimic a breeding population of individuals. Students will “mate” using allele cards to show the outcome of genotypes and phenotypes in future generations.
1. To simulate how changes in the gene pool might occur by using the class as a breeding population of individuals.
2. To observe how the Hardy-Weinberg equation is used to detect changes in allele frequencies in a population.
Materials: PTC test papers, Calculator, Allele cards, Coins, Pencil and paper
This product contains a total of 23 pages.
There is a 12-page student lab and an 11-page teacher guide.
There are four different simulations:
1. Determining the Frequency of a Trait in a Population
2. Testing the Hardy-Weinberg Principle
3. Testing the Hardy-Weinberg Principle for Selection Pressure
4. The Heterozygote Advantage
Student handouts contain:
(1) An introduction to the Hardy-Weinberg Principle
(3) Materials List
(4) Complete directions for each simulation
(5) 43 questions and problems to solve.
Teacher handouts contain: Tips and suggestions for lab set-up, as well as answers to all questions and solutions to all problems.
This simulation lab activity is appropriate for biology students in grades 9 - 12. The download will contain multiple formats: doc, docx and pdf.
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