About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1304 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0417

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

THE FRUIT FLY DROSOPHILA AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN TEACHING LIFE SCIENCES IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOMS

J. Intra, M.E. Pasini

University of Milano (ITALY)
Living organisms are important didactic tools for students, and we describe here for the first time the assessment of a scientific laboratory on Drosophila. The goal of this work is to attract more students to the science disciplines. We aimed to capture students’ interest using educational experiences, and encourage the basic and integrated science process skills that are involved in scientific inquiry, including direct contact to a living organism and in conceptual understanding of biology in the fly. In biomedical research, small model organisms such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are important pillars in the process of scientific discovery so we carried out this scientific experience in non-selective middle (100 students) and high school classrooms (200 students). The activities were performed over three months. Flies are kept in small vials with a bit of food at the bottom: ideal for maintaining them even in schools. Initially, we decided to make homemade fly traps to catch flies, so that students had the opportunity to observe, recognize and have a direct contact with Drosophila. Different practical experiences were performed, such as the evaluation of different techniques for immobilizing flies, and the observation of life cycle, sexual dimorphism, and in particular Drosophila mutants plus numerous species of Drosophilidae. In addition, students planned a procedure for fly food, and a method for anesthetizing flies. Using sample questionnaires, we assessed the experiences and so we observed a general agreement and a broad consensus (82 %), since students evaluated the experiences very stimulating. From this, we realised the enormous potential that Drosophila has beyond research also for biology teaching. It is a powerful modern teaching tool not only for classical Genetics but for many curriculum-relevant areas of biology, providing unique access to informative, inspiring and memorable classroom experiments. It is straightforward, cheap and ethically unproblematic to use and breed flies in schools. The final result of this experience was that students improved their attitudes towards science.
@InProceedings{INTRA2018FRU,
author = {Intra, J. and Pasini, M.E.},
title = {THE FRUIT FLY DROSOPHILA AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN TEACHING LIFE SCIENCES IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOMS},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0417},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0417},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1304}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Intra AU - M.E. Pasini
TI - THE FRUIT FLY DROSOPHILA AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN TEACHING LIFE SCIENCES IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOMS
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0417
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 1304
EP - 1304
ER -
J. Intra, M.E. Pasini (2018) THE FRUIT FLY DROSOPHILA AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN TEACHING LIFE SCIENCES IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOMS, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, p. 1304.
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