Conversation: Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes
This activity is an opportunity for students to apply their introductory knowledge of genetics to a real-life situation. Students are given background materials on issues related to genetic testing (primarily sickle cell trait) and then are asked to select a position on what public policy should be regarding access to genetic information that could inform families and children of their genetic risks. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to learn the difference between being a carrier of a disease and actually having the disease itself.
Students will consider pros and cons of testing for genetic information.
Students will learn about the problems related to sickle cell anemia.
Students will differentiate between sickle cell trait and sickle cell anemia.
Students will take one of four positions (or create their own) about public policy related to genetic testing and defend their position in a debate.
- These are sensitive topics. Please carefully consider the experiences of your students and their families when making a decision about whether to use a debate format to engage with the topic.
- A class discussion can effectively replace the debate portion of this lesson.