K12 Professional Development 2014

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Dr Mark Hill
Dr Mark Hill, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW

This page introduces K12 teaching resources related to embryology and development. The current page is designed to help teachers find useful curated online resources for use in biology classes related to embryology and development. The content and links on this current page are under ongoing development, I am happy to receive feedback and requests for design of specific K12 content and exercises for your classes.

The initial resources I will be presenting relate to comparative embryology and comparative brain anatomy.

The section entitled Additional Useful Resources links directly to resources and currently there is no content designed for K12 student use, but content and resources on these pages may be useful in designing your own specific content around these topics.

Note that content on K12 pages has been simplified in both terminology and descriptions from that found on other embryology pages designed for university level students. That does not mean that other embryology pages are not useful for students, but may be to difficult to place in context given the advanced terminology and descriptions used on non-K12 pages.

Note that clicking the "Expand" text on pages will open collapsible tables with more information or resources.

Content Reuse
Please note content on this site has been derived from a number of sources and under a range of different copyright conditions. I am happy for educational reuse in the classroom without republication. I specifically do not allow republication of content on the internet. This is to prevent misuse of content out of context and also to prevent multiple search results for the same content. In general, opening an image will show the specific copyright restrictions associated with the image.

Please contact me if you require information on educational reuse outside of your classrooms.

Student exercise sheets have been designed to be printed and used in the classroom.

PDF of this Page

Below are a list of the current K12 designed resources.

K12 Links: Start Here | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 to 8 | Arms and Legs | Heart | Fetus | Brain Growth | Eyes and Ears | Animal Development Times | Humans and Animal Embryology | Comparative Embryology | Thalidomide

Links: K12 Professional Development 2014 - Embryology for K12 Students | Museum of Human Disease - Professional Development Days

Comparative Embryology

Stage16 bf8.jpg This page has been designed as an introduction to Comparative Embryology. The page has 4 student exercises contained within collapsible tables. These exercises have worksheets that can be printed out to be completed by students. Also look at the series of student designed projects on animal development.

K12 Links: Comparative Embryology
Student Projects: Rabbit | Fly | Zebrafish | Mouse | Frog | Related page - Animal Development

Comparative Brain Anatomy

Comparative brain anatomy frog-dog.jpg This page was designed originally as a presentation for brain awareness week. Students should understand that the description of early brain development is the same for most species. A more specific page on K12 Comparative Brain Anatomy is under development.
K12 Links: Comparative Brain Anatomy

Additional Useful Resources

The following pages are not designed for K12 students but may provide background information and resources for teachers in other Biology areas.


Movie help 01.jpg The movies page has many different animations showing developmental processes. Some of these movies are simplified cartoons, while others are derived from developmental research articles.

The moves can be:

  1. Opened on a new page with a description and links to additional content, resources and references.
  2. Played as a movie by itself, movie can be expanded to full screen, as well as stopped and started to allow discussion.
Links: Movies
Birth MRI icon.jpg
 ‎‎Human Birth MRI
Page | Play

This is the first MRI recording of childbirth.



Thalidomide molecular structure

Thalidomide is a drug that was introduced on to the market on October 1, 1957 in West Germany. Thalidomide soon became a drug prescribed to pregnant women to combat symptoms associated with morning sickness.

When taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, thalidomide prevented the proper growth of the fetus resulting in horrific birth defects in thousands of children around the world. This is an example for students of inadequate drug testing and a lack of understanding of environmental effects on human development. This is often cited today as a reason to have significant testing of drugs before release and classification of drugs based upon their affects on development.

Links: Thalidomide | Australian Drug Categories

Cell Division

These pages are designed for university level students but also contain images and movies that can be used with students.

The page link opens a movie page with additional descriptions about what is being shown in the movie.

Mitosis 01 icon.jpg
Page | Play
This movie shows chromosomes being segregated during mitosis, the last image is a normal microscopic view of the 2 daughter cells following cell division. Chromosomes have been labelled (white) and align at metaphase, then separate into the two daughter cells. Note the chromosomes unfold at the end of mitosis.

Exercise - Allow the students to see the unlabelled movie and then identify specific stages of mitosis by time. The labelled movie can be shown after the student have attempted the exercise.

Links: Mitosis
Oocyte Meiosis 01 icon.jpg
 ‎‎Oocyte Meiosis
Page | Play
This movie shows how in the oocyte (egg) during meiosis 1 excess DNA is segregated into a specialised structure, the polar body. The polar body contains DNA in an exclusion body that does not contribute to the embryo. DNA is labelled blue and the same oocyte is shown in both bright field (left) and fluorescence (right). Note the remaining oocyte chromosomes arrest at metaphase 2.
Links: Meiosis

Chromosomal Structure

This generally available cartoon image shows the major structures in DNA compaction from duplex to chromosome. Note that this process of compaction occurs only during preparation for cell division and that cells carrying out their normal function have uncompacted DNA to allow gene transcription.

Chromatin Structure.png

Nucleus structure cartoon 01.jpg This cartoon shows the general structure of the nucleus when the cell is transcriptionally active and not dividing. Chromosomes are unravelled and spread throughout the nucleus in "chromosome territories".
Autosomal dominant inheritance.jpg There are also a set of cartoon diagrams illustrating genetic mechanisms of inheritance. There is also a downloadable student worksheet exercise on inheritance patterns (see below).
Teacher Information - Genetic Inheritance Exercise
Exercise 1 - Print out the document linked from Exercise 1 (4 pages) of cartoons with and without the labelling. The first 2 sheets are for teacher use, page 3 and 4 are the unlabelled student worksheets.

The links below are a search of an online genetics database (OMIM) that will list some known genetic disorders of these patterns. Firstly, note how many disorders have appeared in the results. Secondly, clicking any entry on the list will open that disorder with more information about clinical features, gene location, historic and current research.

Here is an example entry for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. An X linked recessive disorder that leads to muscular degeneration in boys due to a mutation in the dystrophin gene located on the X chromosome. (More? brief description)

Links: Genetics | Inheritance Genetics

Current Reproductive Technologies

IVF-Louise Brown.jpg

Louise Brown, the first IVF baby as an adult.

The general public more commonly recognise the term In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Note the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2010 was awarded to Robert G. Edwards "for the development of in vitro fertilization" who battled societal and establishment resistance to his development of the in vitro fertilization procedure, which has so far led to the birth of around 4 million people. (More? Assisted Reproductive Technology | Nobel Prize 2010) 10 April 2013 - Sir Robert Edwards has died aged 87. BBC News

Exercise - Students should identify the many different ways in which pregnancy can be now be achieved using ART.

Links: Assisted Reproductive Technology
Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2010.jpg Statistical data on assisted reproductive technology is released regularly in this publication. Student can download the full report and there is an overview executive summary available.

Anatomy and function of the Human Ear

Hearing cartoon.jpg These are notes pages designed to help university level students understand development of the sensory system of hearing and balance. While the text may be difficult for students to follow, there are a number of easily understood simplified cartoons and drawings of hearing structures.
Hearing Links: Introduction | inner ear | middle ear | outer ear | balance | placode | hearing neural | Science Lecture | Lecture Movie | Medicine Lecture | Stage 22 | hearing abnormalities | hearing test | sensory | Student project

  Categories: Hearing | Outer Ear | Middle Ear | Inner Ear | Balance

Historic Embryology - Hearing 
Historic Embryology: 1880 Platypus cochlea | 1892 Vertebrate Ear | 1902 Development of Hearing | 1906 Membranous Labyrinth | 1910 Auditory Nerve | 1913 Tectorial Membrane | 1918 Human Embryo Otic Capsule | 1918 Cochlea | 1918 Grays Anatomy | 1922 Human Auricle | 1922 Otic Primordia | 1931 Internal Ear Scalae | 1932 Otic Capsule 1 | 1933 Otic Capsule 2 | 1936 Otic Capsule 3 | 1933 Endolymphatic Sac | 1934 Otic Vesicle | 1934 Membranous Labyrinth | 1934 External Ear | 1938 Stapes - 7 to 21 weeks | 1938 Stapes - Term to Adult | 1940 Stapes | 1942 Stapes - Embryo 6.7 to 50 mm | 1943 Stapes - Fetus 75 to 150 mm | 1946 Aquaductus cochleae and periotic (perilymphatic) duct | 1946 aquaeductus cochleae | 1948 Fissula ante fenestram | 1948 Stapes - Fetus 160 mm to term | 1959 Auditory Ossicles | 1963 Human Otocyst | Historic Disclaimer

Immune System

Hematopoietic and stromal cell differentiation.jpg This is a university lecture on the immune system, but also contains easily understood simplified cartoons and electron micrographs of B and T cells.
Links: Lecture - Immune Structure and Organs


Biology Syllabus
Blueprint of Life
  • Evidence of evolution suggests that the mechanisms of inheritance, accompanied by selection, allow change over many generations
    • comparative embryology
    • comparative anatomy
    • biochemistry

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 13) Embryology K12 Professional Development 2014. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/K12_Professional_Development_2014

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G