Introduction: Create a Genetic Trait Bracelet

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Why do you think your hair is curly or straight? Or if you have blue or brown eyes? What do you think makes you, well….you?

Genes are the code in each of our cells in our bodies that help decide on our different traits such as the color of our eyes, how big your feet will be, and a lot of other things that make up you! For this project we will be looking at our our traits and that of our family to make a genetic trait bracelet to show how unique we are.Genetic traits can be dominant or recessive You have two copies of each gene, inherited from your mother and father, each copy can be different.

For example, one copy may give you blue eyes, while another copy may give you brown. So what color are your eyes if you have both the brown and the blue eye color gene? Brown. This is because brown is dominant. Dominant means one version of the gene will overcome or trump the other. Brown is dominant over blue, so if you have genes for blue and brown eyes, your eyes would be brown. We write out traits using capital letters for dominant genes and lower case for recessive. So for eye color, brown would “B” and blue would be “b”. People have two versions of each gene from their parents, so you can have BB, Bb, or bb. Only bb would give you blue eyes. BB or Bb would both be brown.


● Yarn or pipe cleaners

● 2 Colors of Beads to represent traits- You will need 2 different colors of beads for

this project to represent dominant and recessive traits, the colors in the instructions are just suggestions, you can use whatever colors you prefer, as long as you decide before you begin.

● Two larger or metallic beads to mark off the beginning and end of the bracelet.

● Scissors

● Trait Handout

● Mirror

Step 1: Prepare Your Yarn/pipe Cleaner

Use your scissors to cut your yarn or pipe cleaner to the length needed for a bracelet. Tie one of the larger or metallic beads to the end of the yarn or pipe cleaner to keep your trait beads from falling off as your string beads onto your bracelet. Remember if you are using yarn, to cut the yarn longer than you will need just in case you need to trim the end to make threading the beads easier.

Step 2: Observe Yourself

Using a mirror or help from a family member observe your personal genetic traits and make note of what traits you have. Below are the 10 traits we used for our bracelet.

Eye Color

○ Brown

○ Green/Blue

Hair Color

○ Blonde/Red Brown/Black

Hair Texture

○ Strait

○ Curly/Wavy

Hair Line

○ Strait

○ Widow’s Peak


○ Cleft Chin

○ Strait Chin

Hitchhiker's thumb

○ Strait

○ Hitchhikers

Tongue Rolling

○ Can Roll Tongue

○ Cannot Roll Tongue


○ Has Dimples

○ No Dimples


○ Has Freckles

○ No Freckles


○ Attached Earlobes

○ Detached Earlobes

Step 3: Note If Your Traits Are Dominant or Recessive

After you have observed what traits you have, using the genetic traits handout or the image here, note which of your traits are dominant or recessive.

Step 4: Add Your Beads

Add your beads according to if it is a dominant or recessive trait, I used orange to represent dominant traits and purple to represent recessive traits, but you can choose whatever color you prefer.

Dominant Traits: Orange

Recessive Traits: Purple

Step 5: Tie Off Your Bracelet

Use your second larger bead or metallic bead to complete your bracelet and tie it off or wrap it if it is a pipe cleaner. Make sure you are able to slip it on and off your wrist before securing the knot. Remember to cut off any excess string.

Step 6: Wear and See How Many Dominant or Recessive Traits You Have

Now that your bracelet is complete count and see if you have more dominant traits or more recessive traits. I have more recessive, with only three dominant traits!

Feel free to make another one for a family member and compare your traits with each other. Remember, siblings are likely to have bracelets very similar to each other, while parents and grandparents could differ more.

Also feel free to take a look at our other instructables for more science activities and experiments! And for more information about Science City, visit or follow us on Facebook @ScienceCityKC. Remember, to tag us or hashtag #ScienceCityKC.