Is life DNA?
We all know that biology studies living organisms; we also know how (well, maybe not how exactly) important DNA is for them. But to most people, DNA still sounds like more like something they’re more likely to see in a TV series than in their own classroom, doesn’t it? Even though we know the history and the structure of this molecule, as well as the processes that involve it to detail, we could not help wondering what that molecule really looked like.
Students spent a week learning about biological molecules and history of DNA molecule, during the course of which their teacher gave them a treat and showed them how to extract DNA from fruit and even themselves.
Students were divided into two groups. One group was extracting the DNA molecule from a banana using the protocol presented. The other group extracted DNA molecule from their cheek cells. The objective of this experiment was to “unmask” DNA as substance that can be seen with the naked eye.
Both groups worked individually with the guidance of the teacher. Students made their own samples (either by taking the swab from their cheeks or by mincing banana). After filtrating, the samples were placed in test tubes and cold ethyl alcohol was poured over them. This allowed the DNA molecules to travel from the bottom of the test tube to the surface of the alcohol solution.
And there it was, in all its glory. Besides being more scientifically sound than a random forensics TV show, this was certainly a more entertaining way to learn about DNA than just hearing about it from a reliable source.
Cooperation and teamwork in practice
During their biology lessons, our students had the opportunity to design and conduct the lessons on their own, to create what they believe is the perfect lesson, to work together in groups, make cell models, and more.
Students agreed that their most exciting biology lesson was the one when they put their cooperation and creativity to the test by trying to create as tall a structure as they could from spaghetti, rope and sellotape.
The viral Marshmallow Challenge was a perfect opportunity for our students to develop their ideas, collaboration skills, resourcefulness and leadership skills.
Laboratory work requires careful planning and teamwork both of which truly came to light at Savremena International School.