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Updated Mar 18, 2023
Goal: Introduction to genetics and the basis of the building blocks of life.
Build a DNA molecule Using Candies
Enjoy your usual opening and have everyone sit down and ask the group about what they know about science, and what we are made of. Inform them they are going to make their first scientific experiment and discover the recipe molecule for life.
The DNA is the instruction for making you. It is the genetic information, a biological text/instructions/molecule that encodes for every organism’s components, structure, and purpose (they are the building blocks). It contains the information for growing your feet down to your legs, your fingers on your hands not on your head, your nose in the middle of your face. Our DNA decides what we look like and how we grow. The genetic information is what makes you physically similar to the other people around you, but also makes you different (hair, skin or eyes color, height, male or female). Each person has their own version of the “human instruction manual” and only identical twins share the exact same genetic information.
You inherit your DNA from both your parents, who inherited theirs from their parents, and so on.
The DNA is a record of instructions telling the cell what its job is going to be. It is written in a molecular alphabet of 4 “letters/molecules”: A, T, C and G. A and T only pair together, while C and G only pair together.
DNA molecules have a coiled braid or ladder shape. Not visible to the naked eye. They are very long and very thin molecules, which are wrapped on themselves as compact forms called chromosomes.
Time: Approximately 45 minutes
The DNA you’ve extracted comes from billions of kiwi cells, which is why you can see it. However, DNA is so thin that if you unravel it you won’t be able to see a single DNA strand without an incredibly powerful microscope.
Time: 15-20 minutes
This is the DNA molecule that is condesned in the jelly blob that you just extracted from the kiwi.
Enjoy your regular closing and ask the group to remember what you talked about science, life, and genetics. Have them bring home their craft (candy DNA molecule) to show their parents.