Making a Face - Genetic Simulation

Congratulations, you are going to have a baby!..... Well, you are actually going to simulate having a baby.

After this simulation, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. How many chromosome pairs does each human parent have?
  2. How many chromosomes does each parent "donate" to the next generation?
  3. Are some genes and gene characteristics expressed over others?
  4. Are dominant and recessive genes responsible for how a baby looks?
  5. What is the difference between Genotype and Phenotype?
  6. Do some traits require more than one gene to be fully expressed?


This lab is a simulation of making a baby. You and your partner will be given a set of chromosomes each - female get pink chromosomes and males get blue chromosomes. To determine the facial appearance of your child, you and your partner will drop your 23 pair of chromosomes onto your table. Each parent, mom and dad, donate one and only one of each of their 23 pair of chromosomes. Therefore they both donate 23 chromosomes. Since genes exist in the DNA of the chromosomes, each child will end up with a pair of genes for each trait, one from the dad and one from the mom.

Testable question:

How do genotypes determine phenotypes? 


  1. Cut out your 23 chromosomes.  Fold and tape them along the open edge.
  2. Place the chromosomes in your envelope. Carefully shake the chromosomes and very gently drop your and your mate’s chromosomes onto the table. Be sure to keep the and mix around the chromosomes.
  3. Organize the chromosomes according to size and number. Congratulations! You’ve just mated with your partner to create a new baby :-)
  4. Record your baby’s genotypes on your Genotype data sheet.
  5. Determine the genotypes and phenotypes of the facial features for your baby for all of the other 22 chromosomes using this booklet.
  6. Record your results on your Genotype and Phenotype table.
  7. Extra Credit: Draw your baby! Label the characteristics using  the proper genotype abbreviations (example: Tt, tt or TT). Use color!


You will need two data tables:


Milestone #2