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Tricia Sederholm

Learned genetics and physiology through models

2018 STEM Scholar
Peru, IN Peru Junior High School

Tricia’s Big Idea: Tricia’s class used marshmallow “astronauts” (or Mallownauts) as models for studying genetics. Students discussed what traits were exhibited by successful Mallownauts and differentiated between acquired and genetically inherited traits; investigated how Mallownauts reproduce by learning about different types of reproduction; demonstrated how genetic information is transmitted via meiosis; created 2D and 3D models of DNA; explored how Mallownaut DNA interacts with a virus; and used Punnett squares to predict inherited traits and selectively breed the perfect Mallownaut.

Interesting Facts: In 2017 Tricia won a grant to explore the Galapagos Islands during the summer. She brought excitement and information from the trip back to her Evolution lessons in the classroom.

In her own words: "I enjoy teaching because of the students. My favorite lessons are the ones that engage them in learning, regardless of the topic. Thank you for the chance to create this amazing learning environment in my 8th grade science classroom in little Peru, Indiana."