Making Vegetable Babies in Science

Over the past couple of weeks in Year 10 Science the students have been learning about genetics and how we inherit certain characteristics. We used an activity in which pairs of students made a vegetable child from ‘Ma Potato’ and ‘Pa Onion’. The students made Ma and Pa using:

- potato or onion body type

- long or short celery stick arms

- cranberry or fruit loop eyes

- carrot or parsnip feet

Their babies then inherited genes from both Ma and Pa but what the babies looked like depended upon whether those features were dominant or recessive. So the baby may have looked just like Ma or just like Pa or more likely a mixture of the two. Whilst the activity was a fun, hands on task, the underlying learning allows the students to apply the techniques to real life questions such as determining the sex of a baby or understanding how genetic diseases can be passed down.


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