The Lego® analogy model for teaching gene sequencing and biotechnology

Rebecca Rothhaar, Barry R. Pittendrigh, Kathryn S. Orvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research in biotechnology is rapidly advancing; everyday, new and exciting discoveries are made. With this new technology there are also many safety and ethical questions, though, as well as the need for education. Alternative teaching methods may help to increase students' understanding of difficult concepts in all aspects of schooling, including mathematics, science, genetics, and biotechnology. The Genomic Analogy Model for Educators (GAME) is a teaching tool currently under development, made up of three different pieces: (i) a CD-Rom, (ii) a website and (iii) laboratory exercises. The GAME model uses simple analogies of easily understandable concepts to explain the technical and scientific aspects of modern genomics; the first module is the Lego® Analogy Model (LAM) which focuses on DNA sequencing using the Sanger method and electrophoresis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the GAME model on high school students. In addition, the short term effect of the GAME model on high school students' attitudes about biotechnology was also measured. Results showed a positive change in students' post-test scores after participating in GAME which indicates the effectiveness of this new tool for biotechnology education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotechnology education
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Science education
  • Sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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