Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dazzled by D.N.A.- Adventures in S.T.E.A.M.!

Our program adventures in S.T.E.A.M. keep us exploring new scientific discoveries each and every week, blog followers! Our friend and neighbor, Megan Bean, a molecular biologist who specializes in D.N.A. sequences came in to visit us this Tuesday. 

Ms. Bean brought her two lovely children with her to assist with this days lesson, and quickly everyone in the room became excited about what this "molecular biology" was all about. 

Our students were given salt water to gargle in their mouths to collect their D.N.A. This works by the texture of the salt water collecting tissue! After a minute or so of this, students collected their D.N.A. samples in a cup and combined it first with dish soap, then with 70% proof rubbing Alcohol (the closer to 100% the better), and green food dye to contrast the color of the D.N.A. strands! 

Once all ingredients were combined, students waited for something amazing to occur. The most surprising aspect of this particular experiment for our classroom was that D.N.A. is actually visible to the human eye. Once the ingredients took effect, you could see with your naked eye (no microscope needed) the small, delicate white strands floating in the green liquid- a mesmerizing thing to witness.

Our students learned that D.N.A. holds all of our genetic information that makes up who we are, which is incredibly similar to each other with small marked differences. D.N.A. was discovered in 1953 by scientists Watson and Crick, who appropriately named it's twisted structure the "double helix". 

If you were to unwind all your D.N.A. and stretch it out as far as it would go, it would travel to the moon and back many thousands of times! 

See some candid moments from our experiment below:

Thank you for reading, and tune in to see what we discover next! 

Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead, 


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