One + One = One

Dorothy J. Cox
1994 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute


This introductory project is assigned to all of the students in my biology classes. A situation is established, general instructions are given, and the students are to find any information that will allow them to complete this project. Upon completion of the project, the students will begin an in depth study of the human body.

A project that started as an introduction to the study of the human body, giving the students an open door to creativity and investigation, has evolved into many studies. Some special interests have been created. This project has given all students the opportunity to show abilities not seen before in the class. This could be used in any class with infinite possibilities of study.

Because of this project, the news media has become interested. They have come to the school, interviewed the students and me, and made pictures of the babies. An article has been written and pictures appeared in the paper. Students, therefore, could begin a study of the news media looking at the positive and negative effects it has on the community.

Student Objectives:

  1. To discover -- Learning is fun. Science is exciting.
  2. To develop problem solving skills while developing writing skills
  3. To empower the student with personal concept development and time management as each student assumes responsibility for his/her own learning
  4. To document growth and success of the learner

Target Age/Ability Level:

Grade 7 Life Science-Grade 12 AP Biology

Student /Class Time Required:

Two class periods with a week of involvement.

Materials/ Groups:

Egg dressed as a baby for each student or the students may be required to get their own five pound (sugar, flour, or meal) baby dressed and made to look real.

Teacher's Guide for Presentation of Activities:

On Friday the student will either be given a raw egg or will get a five pound sack of flour, sugar, or meal to make look like a baby. General biology gets the marked raw egg and advanced biology takes the five pound baby. The student is now a new parent for the next full week with all the responsibilities of a parent.

Because of things that occurred or questions that are raised, the student can begin many specific areas of study. Possible areas of study using his/her research abilities are the following:

  1. a study of good parenting.
  2. a study of child abuse and the court systems dealing with the issues that related to killed babies, abused babies and kidnapped babies or one that developed because of things that happened to his/her baby or the baby of a friend.
  3. a genetic disorder in one of the families. Research to determine if the baby could have the disorder.
  4. a study of the news media looking at the positive and negative effects it has on the community.

This activity can be used concurrently with the activities "Problem Solving in Genetic Disorders" by Nikki Chen and "The Genetics of Parenthood" by Lenore Kop and Thomas Crowley. Combining the three activities personalizes the problem and expands the learning experience.


See grade sheet for one way to grade this project.

Student Sheet

One + One = One

On Friday you will receive your own baby. Bring something to school Friday in which to take your baby home. This baby will be your total responsibility for SEVEN DAYS!!! These are the instructions for your precious addition.

1. The baby (RAW EGG) will need to have tender loving care. Research to find out how to care for a real baby. Remember, if dropped, it will break just as a real baby would be hurt if dropped.

2. The egg will be marked where it can not be replaced if broken.

3. Make a birth certificate for your baby.

4. You will need to keep a journal (diary) of the next seven days of your baby's life. It may be in the form of a baby book. It should include

  • Baby's name, age, sex, race, and how much the baby weighs, and its length.
  • All feedings
  • Problems, such as illness.
  • Phone calls to doctor. (Doctor's name and phone #)
  • Sleeping schedule
  • When you have to leave it with a baby-sitter (have sitter sign date and time of sitting).
  • Baby's behavior - Did it cry a great deal or was it a happy baby?

5. Your baby must come to school with you on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If it does not come the other days, you must engage a baby sitter and have him/her sign in your journal.

6. Should something happen to your baby, you must be prepared to go to court to answer any questions. Write a report about the occurrence and include it in your journal. If someone else does anything harmful to your baby, a report must be prepared for the court and signed by the person doing the offense for you to present to the court.

7. You may decorate or dress your baby. You may be as creative as you wish as you care for this child.

8. You must turn in your baby, the container you carried it in (container will be returned to you), the journal, and the birth certificate on the following Friday.

9. You will be graded on each of the above items. This will count as one major test grade.


Grade Sheet


I. Creativity

Baby ................................ 15 ________

Container for Baby .............. 10 ________

II. Birth Certificate...................... 10 ________

III. Baby Journal

Originality.........................15 ________

Completeness......................30 ________

IV. Attendance at school

Monday ............................5 ________

Wednesday..........................5 ________

V. Keeping baby SEVEN DAYS (Friday)...10 ________


TOTAL POINTS (out of 100) ________

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