Creating DNA Models

I love teaching Genetics. But you know what? I didn’t like this subject back in college. In fact, I hated it. Biology 106 – genetics was for me a very complex subject. Or maybe, because I was so intimidated with my professor who is a Doctor of Genetics (or scared because I heard that he is a terror teacher), and that he went to Yale, etc.etc. Well, he was actually one of the greatest teachers my beloved Mindanao State University has produced. I am grateful for the opportunity of being one of his students.But that was a long, long time ago.Now that I’m teaching Genetics,I really enjoyed imparting what I have leared especially about punnet squares and test cross and DNA and inheritance.

The last few weeks of our Biology class was pretty tight as we had to discuss all the topics included in the final examination tomorrow – from DNA to Inheritance. This is why we decided to spare one day to skip discussion and do something interesting and that is to make a DNA model.

Why make models, by the way?

Models are a great way to help the kids learn more about what you’re trying to teach them, especially about DNA, genes, chromosomes, and the likes. These materials can be hard to visualize and although I use graphics and images in the class,sometimes it is still difficult for some students who are kinesthetic learners to  grasp the key concepts. That  is why models are very important.

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I could see the excitement in my student’s eyes upon learning that we’re going to make an edible DNA model. Yes, a DNA model you can eat afterwards! However, due to time constraints and unavailable of some materials, I had to resort to Mr. Google for help.The internet has a  lot of suggestions on how to make and what kind of DNA model we should do. For convenience purposes, I came up with 3 different models and gave the class the freedom to decide what kind of model they prefer to make.

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A few groups chose the edible DNA model which is made up of marshmallows

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Others use DNA gummy bears or jelly beans attached by toothpicks

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while another group  prefer to make the DNA model out of pipe cleaners and beads 

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Why so serious Josephine? 🙂

 

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and the rest chose to make their DNA using styrofoam balls and toothpicks.

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and here are some of the finished products (others were not captured in photos, sorry.)

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