Harry Potter Genetics, A Course from Next Level Homeschool
There are a wide range of courses on various topics offered by Next Level Homeschool. Check out their selection here:
This 12 week course will help students unlock the mysteries of genetics through case studies found in the Harry Potter series! Genetically, what is the difference between a pure blood, a half blood, and a Muggle (how is Hermione a witch if her parents aren’t?)? How do we determine the offspring of different variations of parents (will Ron and Hermione’s children all be wizards?)? What about mutations (why do squibs- like Filch- have wizards for parents but are unable to do magic?)? How do mixed species work in the wizarding world (Hagrid is one half giant, Flitwick is ¼ goblin) and in the real world (ligers and zorses and mules, oh my!)? Do genetics play a role in personality and talents (can the Sorting Hat detect your genetics so you are placed in the right house?)? We’ll also unravel the double helix of DNA to see exactly how it works and how genes are created. Students will have a thorough understanding of the four nucleotide bases, how DNA is replicated, and how mutations can occur during this process.
We’ll then spend a few weeks on evolutionary adaptations- how genetics plays a role in ensuring survival of the fittest and making sure the strongest genes are passed down. For this, we’ll study the various beasts of the wizarding world. What adaptations allow them to live in their environments? If the environment were to change, what would that species need to do to survive? Students will embark on a multi-week project to create genetic profiles of the various beasts in the book, then create a new magical beast through selective breeding of known species.
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