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Why are my eyes the color they are?Featured science projectScience project video

Discussion

pencil and paper

Questions & Answers

Is your eye color the same as one or both of your parents?

Why are my eyes the color they are?

Make it Your Own

In this experiment, you drew and examined your family tree on one side of your family going back four generations. Expand this study to both your mother and your father's side. You will need a wider piece of paper to do so. If there are unknown eye colors from your family tree, can you make an education guess on what their eye color could have been?

Use what you learned about eye color and reproduce a similar family tree using other inherited traits such as having freckles, red hair, dimples, ear lobes, or the ability to curl your tongue.

References

No Author (2013). The Tech Museum of Innovation: Dominant vs. Recessive. Retrieved November 6th, 2013 from http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask363

#Materials and Equipment:

  • pencil
  • paper

#Experimental Procedure:

1. Choose one side of your family on which to focus to begin, either your mother's side or your father's side. You can add on the other side later if you choose to do so. You will be designing a family tree similar to the one shown in the Background section of this middle school science experiment. Remember, connecting a line between a circle and square means a couple is married. For siblings, be sure that you first draw a vertical line above each shape then connect the vertical lines with a horizontal line above the shapes.

2. Turn an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper the long way (horizontally). Starting at the bottom of the sheet, leaving room for three rows above, draw yourself and any siblings as circles for girls and squares for boys. Leave about a quarter inch in between each shape. Color in each circle or square brown, green or blue. Hazel is a subset of brown, so color all family members with hazel eyes brown.

3. Draw a short (about a 1/4 inch tall) vertical line above each sibling. Connect siblings, if any, with a horizontal line that is attached to the vertical line. Label this line "Great-Grandchildren". Inside the circle or square representing you, write the word "ME".

4. Above you and any siblings, draw a circle and a square to represent your parents. Leave about a quarter inch space between each shape. Color in the shape brown, blue or green to represent their eye color. Connect your parents with a horizontal line (about half an inch wide) from the center of each shape. Inside your mother's circle, write "mom" and inside your father's square write "dad".

5. If you've picked your mother's side, add her siblings next to her as circles or squares and color their shapes the corresponding color. If you've picked your father's side, do the same as you would for your mother. Again, leave about a quarter inch spacing between shapes. Connect the siblings with a horizontal line from the center of each shape. Label this line "Grandchildren".

6. Repeat this process by adding your grandparents (chose only your grandmother or grandfather) and their siblings to the right or left of your parents. Label each shape grandma and grandpa. Label this line "Parents".

7. Repeat again by adding the last of four generations, which would be your great-grandparents. Label this line "Grandparents".

8. Using the chart below, analyze why you have brown, blue or green eyes. Write a statement determining why your eye color is brown, blue or green.

#Make It Your Own:

In this experiment, you drew and examined your family tree on one side of your family going back four generations. Expand this study to both your mother and your father's side. You will need a wider piece of paper to do so. If there are unknown eye colors from your family tree, can you make an education guess on what their eye color could have been?

Use what you learned about eye color and reproduce a similar family tree using other inherited traits such as having freckles, red hair, dimples, ear lobes, or the ability to curl your tongue.

#

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