Breast Cancer Risk: Genes and the Environment


Explore genetic and environmental risk factors for breast cancer.

An individual’s risk of developing breast cancer is influenced by a number of factors such as specific genes, lifestyle choices, hormonal factors, and environmental exposures.

  • Analyze a family’s pedigree for the occurrence of breast cancer.
  • Conduct simulated DNA testing for the BRCA1 gene.
  • Complete a survey on risk factors associated with breast cancer and then analyze the survey responses based on a “What Science Says” factsheet.
  • Analyze data from an experiment indicating that environmental exposures during childhood (before puberty) may increase risks of breast cancer.
  • Use beads to model effects of DDT insecticide exposure before puberty and after puberty.
Assembled kits
Materials to assemble 10 kits - includes all supplies, printed labels, and student instructions copy master
Materials to refill 10 kits

Kit Includes

  • Student instructions
  • Simulated BRCA1 Genetic Test sheet
  • DNA Stain (simulated)
  • Graduated medicine cup
  • Stirrer
  • 3 Bags of beads
  • My Family Pedigree
  • Breast Cancer Risks—What Science Knows

Also Required

  • Tap water
  • Safety goggles

Quantity Discounts


  • 1 – 9 kits: $14.95 each
  • 10 – 24 kits: $14.20 each
  • 25+ kits: $13.46 each


  • 1 – 9 packs: $90.95 each
  • 10+ packs: $86.40 each


  • 1 – 9 packs: $38.95 each
  • 10+ packs: $37.00 each

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Shop by NGSS »

Performance Expectations:

MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

  • Science & Engineering Practices

    Constructing Explanations - Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

  • Disciplinary Core Ideas

    LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms - Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the plants and animals.

  • Crosscutting Concepts

    Cause and Effect - Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability