SAVY 2019: Session 5, Day 4 – Dabbling with DNA (Rising 3rd/4th)
Today we began our studies of biotechnology. We started with a review of the structure of DNA, then looked at examples of restriction enzymes and figured out where the different restriction enzymes would cut a piece of DNA. This led to DNA electrophoresis and DNA profiling. The students determined the sizes of different pieces of DNA, generated the banding pattern that would result via gel electrophoresis, and figured out whose DNA matched that found at a crime scene. The students thought of other forms of evidence found at crime scenes and realized that DNA is just one of many clues used to solve a crime.
In the afternoon, we learned about genetically modified organisms and figured out how they differ from organisms created using traditional breeding techniques. We went to the computer lab and did research on GMOs. The students were disappointed to learn that most of them are plants. They really wanted there to be weird genetically modified animals. Each team picked a GMO and started gathering information about that organism. Tomorrow each team will make a presentation to the class and possibly their parents. Madeline and I are looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow.