Soon-to-be sixth-graders at Elmont Union Free School District were educated on the relevance and importance of deoxyribonucleic acid during a three-day workshop titled, "What's All This Talk About DNA."
Under the direction of Elmont Memorial High School physiology, anatomy and forensic science teacher Ms. Stacey Taylor, students investigated chromosomes, traits, genes and DNA structure. In addition to learning how traits are inherited, they also completed an inventory of their own traits, created a trait bracelet and were introduced to the human genome. As part of their online research, students viewed human chromosomes and were shown the location of various disease-causing genes on different chromosomes.
A highlight of the workshop took place on day three, when students used a soap and salt mixture, rubbing alcohol, a coffee filter and a popsicle stick to extract DNA from a strawberry. Once the DNA was extracted from each student's strawberry, students placed it into a microcentrifuge tube and were given a piece of string to create a necklace.
"This program was beneficial for the students because it helped foster a love of biology and science," Ms. Taylor said. "A love that hopefully stays with them as they move us forward into the future."
According to Assistant Pupil Personnel Director Helisse Palmore, the district continues to offer hands-on biomedically-inspired programs to expand student knowledge and interest in the fields of science and medicine.