Can You See DNA with the Blind Eye?

Thursday, September 15, 2016
By: Linnea Gibson, Kenan Fellow and Conn Magnet Elementary School teacher
Back to School: Making Science Make Sense

It’s that time of year again; time to get back into a routine and get ready for school. As a STEM Coordinator, back-to-school means another opportunity to engage my students in new ways to expand their knowledge and bring real world experiences to the classroom.

This summer, I spent three weeks interning at Bayer in the Crop Science Division as part of my 2016 -2017 Kenan Fellowship. One of my goals as part of this program is to have an impact on others including students, teachers and individual schools. Overall, I truly enjoyed how much we were immersed in the work and given a hands on experience. That’s why I’d like to share a DIY science experiment for students to do right at home.

I can’t think of a better way to link science and agriculture together in the classroom (or at home) through a unique experiment like the Strawberry DNA Extraction. As part of the Bayer Making Science Make Sense program, this experiment allows students to learn about DNA, the building blocks of all cells, and understand that DNA is studied and used to help improve the efficiency of crops. And what better way to see this come alive than inspecting the very food that we eat!

This experiment can easily be done at home or in the classroom, so feel free to download the PDF and get started!

Prior to doing the experiment, you can have students review the worksheet below to get a better understanding of what makes up DNA and how it relates to agriculture.

DNA: So, Just What Is This Stuff? Info Sheet

Strawberry DNA Extraction Science Experiment Info Sheet

This experiment also ladders up to the following Common Core objectives.

Structures and Functions of Living Organisms Info Sheet

Evolution and Genetics Info Chart

If you enjoyed this experiment or have any questions, leave a comment below or reach out via Twitter at @Bayer4CropsUS.


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