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Summer SAVY, Session 3 Day 1, Dabbling with DNA: Genetics All Around Us (Schott) (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Good evening!  The first day of Dabbling with DNA was successful. We started the day getting to know each other with a game of “Bingo” and then sharing something about ourselves.

Our lesson began with small group brainstorming on the differences between living vs. nonliving matter.  The class discussed these differences and similarities, and we filled in a Venn diagram.  We will make use of such diagrams throughout the week.  We started our TIP Chart (Term, Information, Picture) which at the end of the week will be populated with many terms.  This chart will impress upon them how much material they have covered and how much they’ve learned. 

Next, we reviewed the different kingdoms of life and looked at examples from each kingdom in some cases using the microscope.  They were very excited about using the scopes and had to be convinced that it wasn’t possible to view the preserved sea horse using the scope. You’ll have to ask your scientist about this! 

After lunch, we talked about eukaryotic cells and what steps are necessary to extract DNA from strawberries.  They quickly deduced that we needed to crush the strawberries – correct – but needed help with the rest of the process: the adding of soap, salt, and rubbing alcohol. We finished up the day with a quick discussion of the nature of science and the scientific method. Feel free to ask your child about today’s activities with an emphasis on why we used the different ingredients (soap, salt, alcohol) when extracting DNA and the imagery we used to represent the steps of the scientific method. They did a good job with this activity, and every group successfully extracted DNA.  They were very curious about what it would look like. 

Questions to ask your scientists tonight:

  • What is different about a living organism compared to a nonliving object?
  • Why did we use the different ingredients (soap, salt, alcohol) in the DNA extraction process?
  • Where is DNA found in a eukaryotic cell and what is the role of DNA?

We are looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!