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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences

The Fruit Fly Drosophila as a Powerful Tool in Teaching Life Sciences in Middle and High School Classrooms

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Fruit Fly, Laboratory, Model Organism, Science
  • Intra, Jari
  • Pasini, Maria Enrica
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons License:
Living organisms can be used as important didactic tools for students, and we report here for the first time the evaluation of a scientific laboratory on Drosophila. The aim of this work is to attract more students towards science disciplines and a real appreciation for animal kingdom. We aimed to capture students’ interest, develop important educational experiences, and promote the basic and integrated science process skills that are involved in scientific inquiry, including direct contact to a living organism and authentic research on Drosophila melanogaster. We performed this experience in non-selective middle (100 students) and high school classrooms (200 students). The practical activities were carried out over three months. Initially, we decided to make homemade fly traps to catch flies, so that students could observe, recognize and have a direct contact with Drosophila. Several experiences were performed, such as the evaluation of different methods for immobilizing flies, and the observation of life cycle, sexual dimorphism, Drosophila mutants plus several species of Drosophilidae. Moreover, students prepared a procedure for fly food, and a method for anesthetizing flies. With sample questionnaires, we obtained a survey of the experiences and so we observed a general agreement and a broad consensus (82 %), since students considered the experiences very stimulating. As a final result we obtained that students improved their attitudes towards science.

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