Biological concepts such as transcription, translation, codons, and genes can be confusing and overwhelming to high school biology students, yet these are prominent topics assessed on high-stakes standardized tests. I present a project-based assessment approach that can help students organize the wealth of information covered during units on genetics and protein synthesis. Students create a three-dimensional “Design-o-saur” model based on the genetic sequences of parent dinosaurs that they have already transcribed and translated to determine the proteins responsible for the observable traits. Ready-to-use handouts, evaluation rubrics, and student guidelines are included.
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Vol. 78 • No. 2