Adult Ed
Who Are We? An Introduction to the Life Within Our Bodies



Students are introduced to the structure and function of cells and to the different types and purposes of cell division: growth, repair, and reproduction. They are familiarized with basic principles governing inheritance, and learn about the basic structure of DNA. Students also will read and discuss a case study involving a controversial application of DNA research.


  • "Trait Tree," ( and "DNA: Fact or Fiction?" adapted from Roger Bumgarner, Ph.D.'s hands-on Science for Pre-service Elementary School Teachers
  • WHAT MAKES YOU WHAT YOU ARE: A FIRST LOOK AT GENETICS by Sandy Bornstein (Julian Messner, 1989)
  • TRAITS AND FATES: INSIGHTS IN BIOLOGY developed by Education Development Center, Inc. (Kendall Hunt, 1998)
  • "How Many Innocent Prisoners?" by Bob Herbert in THE NEW YORK TIMES (July 18, 1999)
  • "New York Plan Widely Expands the Sampling of Criminals' DNA" by Richard Perez-Peña and Jayson Blair in THE NEW YORK TIMES (August 7, 1999)
  • THE MICROVERSE, Byron Preiss, editor, William R. Alschuler, scientific editor (Bantam, 1989)
  • newsprint


Students will:
  • Identify the different components of a cell and describe their functions.
  • Develop an understanding of the processes involved in and the differences between mitosis and meiosis.
  • Become familiar with the history of the science of genetics.
  • Learn about recessive and dominant traits and how they are inherited.
  • Be introduced to the chemical composition of DNA.
  • Practice writing argument essays from different perspectives.
  • Research recent developments related to cloning.