FBI Investigates a Crime Spree

A Genetic Disorders WebQuest


Mrs. DeBlieu at Cherokee High School

Marlton, NJ

Introduction  |  The Task  Resources  |  Learning Advice  |  Conclusion  |  Grading  |  Credits


    There have been a string of robberies across the country that have the FBI baffled.  The perpetrator is referred to by the press as the "Teddy Bear Bandit", because he (or she) leaves a note attached to a teddy bear at the scene of each crime.  Unfortunately, that is all that has been left, as Crime Scene Investigation units (CSI) have turned up no physical evidence from the thief (no fingerprints, fibers, hair, blood or any other cells for DNA analysis).

    The notes left at previous Bandit crime scenes have been determined by the FBI to be mere gibberish, and not pertinent at all.  The last note, however, appears to be the break the FBI needs.  The Bandit revealed that he/she suffers from a genetic disorder.

    You and your classmates are the FBI agents assigned to the case of the Teddy Bear Bandit.  The Bandit is showing his/her over confidence by leaving you this important piece of information.  The Bandit is toying with you because he does not think you will get anywhere with this new knowledge.  THIS WILL BE THE BANDIT'S FATAL MISTAKE!  He/she grossly underestimates your understanding of genetics, and does not realize that you were taught Biology by the best teacher in America (silly Bandit).  You are so up for this challenge!

    Although not well-versed in human genetic disorders, you and your fellow agents are determined, through research, to learn as much about them as possible.  You decide you will be more efficient as a team if each pair of agents researches two disorders and "briefs" the other agents on them.  This way, when the bandit finally slips up and leaves bodily evidence, you will have the background knowledge needed to find and jail him/her.

The Task

    You and your FBI partner will research and become experts on the two (2) genetic disorders assigned to you by your "boss".  Remember, the safety of America depends on your doing a great job!

    Your mission is as follows:                                                                       

The following is a list of the disorders that will be researched:


Here is a list of very comprehensive websites.  Be sure to look through each of them, as they all have much to offer. 

                Medline Plus

                National Center for Biotechnology Information  

                Your Genes Your Health    

Learning Advice

*  Many students opt to make a big chart on notebook paper of all the factual information they need to find about their assigned disorders.  The chart is a handy way of organizing a search of the websites, and for jotting down found information.  You may think of a different way of accomplishing this; if so, share it with your colleagues.

*  While looking through the websites, keep in mind you will need to "present" this information.  Therefore, keep your eyes open for any visual aids that may be useful in helping you explain the disorder to your fellow agents.

*  "Genetic disorders" is not the most uplifting topic. Try to remember that DNA usually works correctly, and that many of these disorders are rare.  Be appreciative of your own abilities, while you gain an understanding of other's disabilities.


Now that your research and report are finished, you will present your findings.  Relax, you will be fine.  Remember, YOU are the expert on this topic, and your fellow FBI agents are eager to learn from you.  Good luck!


Grading for this project will be based on thorough completion and execution of the following:


P.S.  Poor manners during other presentations will not be tolerated.


The motion clips used on this site were from Microsoft Office 2000 Clip Art. 

This page was written by Leanne DeBlieu.  Last updated: Dec. 2005