For the last four years, the UnICORN project has afforded an opportunity to enhance and engage in research on teaching and learning about inheritance in elementary science through curriculum development and professional development for teachers. Through the implementation of a model-based curriculum, early learners in Nebraska have been afforded opportunities to use corn as a model organism to develop understanding of basic concepts of heredity and genetics using corn as a model organism. Two papers were recently published based upon this work which describe students’ understanding of core, NGSS-aligned target concepts and the relative impact of the curriculum on target outcomes in consecutive project years.
Cisterna, D., Forbes, C.T., & Roy, R. (2019). Model-based teaching and learning about inheritance in 3rd-grade science. In International Journal of Science Education, 41(15), 2177-2199.
Forbes, C.T., Cisterna, D., Bhattacharya, D., & Roy, R. (2019). Modeling elementary students’ ideas about heredity: A comparison of a curricular intervention. In American Biology Teacher, 81(9), 626-635.