Heredity and Variation


SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.

The Heredity and Variation SciPack explores patterns of inheritance and discusses how offspring can look similar to their parents yet still possess differences within their genetic code. These differences can sometimes affect (positively or negatively) an offspring’s ability to survive and reproduce. Our ancestors used their observations of plants and animals to cultivate crops and domesticate animals. Now, through the use of technology and our current understanding of the DNA molecule, scientists can study individual genes and a gene’s impact on the inheritance of traits.

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Reviews (16)
  • on Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:08 PM

I found this SciPack very informative. It started by explaining basic knowledge and then expanded on those areas to emphasis the importance of particular areas. This SciPack helped me refresh my knowledge on Mitosis and Meiosis.

Madison McMahan
Madison McMahan

  • on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:50 PM

This SciPack is very helpful if you want to broaden your knowledge of Heredity and Variation. I really enjoyed how organized the course was. It was easy to follow and easy to navigate. I like how it gives me the options of learning it visually, auditory, and/or kinetically. Even though it is quite long, it did a great job breaking the information down into sections. I appreciate how it provides numerous activities and quizzes for me to test my knowledge throughout the course. This course is useful for teachers and students because they can go back to this course whenever they want. This is great for people who does not know much about Heredity and Variation. But, if you are a person who is an expert at it, then this would be more of a review for you. Overall, this SciPack is useful and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to learn more.

Ruth T
Ruth T

  • on Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:25 PM

This is a great resource to expand your knowledge of Heredity and Variation! The layout of the course is very easy to follow and lets you know how much of the course you have worked through. It uses a variety of ways to teach you so it isn't just reading paragraph after paragraph. It is an interactive course through the use of activities and questions. It starts off with the basic information about genetics and builds upon itself to explore more complex concepts relating to the subject. You can go back at any time if you need to refresh yourself up on a specific topic in the course. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about this subject!

Baylee B
Baylee B

  • on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:31 PM

The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. I had a lot of fear of science before learning about the NSTA Learning Center, and Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format. However, the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend the Heredity and Variation SciPack to anyone needing to learn more about this topic.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Thu May 01, 2014 9:56 PM

I really enjoyed this SciPack!! It's full of great information, simulations and pictures. I really enjoyed this SciPack and it's worth your time.

Jessica Minton  (Collierville, TN)
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)

  • on Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:09 PM

Great source for new or veteran teachers!!

James  (El Paso, TX)
James (El Paso, TX)

  • on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:42 PM

Very detailed, incisive and with relevant examples on essential concepts.

Olukayode Banmeke  (Riverdale, MD)
Olukayode Banmeke (Riverdale, MD)

  • on Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:51 PM

This SciPack did an excellent job of challenging my current understanding of genetics and heredity. I teach Biology and thought that it would not require much thought. I was wrong. I would recommend this resource to anyone who would like either an in-depth refresher of modern genetics, or a deeper look at something they have a more limited background on.

Cris D
Cris D

  • on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:53 PM

I ran part of this SciPack to my students via Promethean Board and I was really amazed at how interested they were at the different activities and the interactive activities. Some of the kids I was having the hardest time reaching were the most interested! One kid who chronically sleeps through part of the class scooted up to the front and had numerous questions. Homerun!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:52 AM

I really enjoyed this particular SciPack. It went into great detail about where the idea of heredity got started. It was particular beneficial to complete the quizzes throughout the SciPack. I also liked having the option of the information being read to me or that I could read the information myself. Great information and well organized!

Maggie W
Maggie W

  • on Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:12 AM

This SciPack is a great resource to use to learn about heredity and variation! There were areas where the material was hard to follow and stay engaged with, but the interactive activities really helped combat that. It delved into the history of heredity and then expanded on the different aspects of it. I had previous knowledge on heredity, but this SciPack was a really good refresher over the topic. Overall, a great tool!

Hillary Huffer
Hillary Huffer

  • on Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:28 PM

I really learned a lot from this SciPack. There was a ton of good information, some basic and some more in depth.

Courtney H
Courtney H

  • on Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:08 PM

Want to know more about how to introduce this topic? Very good resource to increase content knowledge and improve pedagogy too!

Marty Erskine
Marty Erskine

  • on Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:31 AM

This was a great basic overview of heredity and variation. I feel it was geared more towards a middle school level. I would recommend that you seek additional support material if you are teaching high school genetics for the first time.


  • on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:05 PM

The Heredity and Variation SciPack covers the major topics that would be covered in a typical genetics unit in high school biology, though not in great depth. It serves as a nice refresher, but if you want to dig deeper you'll be disappointed.

Rebecca F  (Elizabeth, WV)
Rebecca F (Elizabeth, WV)

  • on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:41 PM

I found this SciPack to be very repetitive but still engaging. Each time the same topic was brought up it was introduced in a different way which helped me to grasp the information more quickly and really understand deeper what it was I was trying to learn.

Andrea Gouldy  (Granbury, TX)
Andrea Gouldy (Granbury, TX)

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