This new semester was scary to begin. We were scared that we may have to continue working on our Hero Blanket. I think that speaking for ourselves , our project was a failure. There was too much pressure to make the blanket very original and incorporate a lot of technology such as things to measure the heart rate of the baby and even create an app. The expectations were too high and I felt like people were forgetting that we were just high school students not adults. I also feel bad about the money wasted because we never got our fabric that we had paid for. We also thought about doing a headband or beanie that lights up, but we were reminded that it didn’t have much of bio-med aspects.
But we came into this class really excited to know that we could do a module for our younger sisters. We thought about doing the strawberry DNA extraction lab. We had done it in 9th grade bio med and to us at the time seemed very cool. As young freshmen we had never seen DNA, so I was excited to see what the future held. The process involved smashing strawberries to a pulp and putting them through a coffee filer amongst other steps. The DNA that was extracted looked like snot. We then placed the snot looking substance in a small test tube with a substrate to keep the DNA well and alive. We then either had a choice to make a necklace or a bracelet with our strawberry DNA. It was a fun way to see DNA extraction and I think that the underclassmen are going to enjoy this as much as I did.
When I asked if the underclassmen were not doing this , me and my group decided to take it upon ourselves to make it our project for this semester. It was a unanimous decision to create this module because we did not want to keep working on the hero blanket, no one else would want to work on our hero blanket and we were not going to work with another group to advance their project because none of the projects looked interesting enough to us.
Ms. Sauter approves to use this module for her class because its been five years since I have done it and I still remember it and will probably be something that I will forever remember. Not only that but its interesting to see that, in some way or another that is also something that is in our body. I mean how cool is extracting DNA from a strawberry?
Awesome that you are bringing back a previous project from your 9th grade Bio-med class Lulu.It goes to show just how much this experiment effected you in such a positive way. I know that in keeping with the old experiment it will allow many students to learn the structure of DNA, but I do have to ask is there a way you could possibly change the fruit or the vegetable as a way to see a different DNA of a different plant? I think in changing the strawberry to something else could allow more variation and more knowledge learned about DNA. There is this cool site called NOVA that gives you excellent instructions on how to extract your OWN DNA (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/extract-your-dna.html). Maybe you could combine both experiments as a way for students to understand DNA from different POVs? -Toni Akunebu (2nd)
I really liked this lab when we did it in freshman year biomed! For me, it felt a lot like we were finally getting our toes wet with something that we had spent the past few years learning about. It is difficult to stay engaged with material without having seen any tangible evidence of the material we were learning. DNA was particularly difficult for me to stay engaged with because it is so small. As a freshman, I understood that DNA was the building block of life, but it was difficult for me to envision something so small and naked to the human eye as being so important. This lab really helped me realize that DNA is not just something that is a concept, it actually exists. I’m glad that y’all are bringing this back!