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ERIC Number: EJ1117695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Modeling DNA
Robertson, Carol
Science Teacher, v83 n5 p26-32 Jul 2016
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is life's most amazing molecule. It carries the genetic instructions that almost every organism needs to develop and reproduce. In the human genome alone, there are some three billion DNA base pairs. The most difficult part of teaching DNA structure, however, may be getting students to visualize something as small as a DNA molecule, which is only 2 billionths of a meter in diameter (much smaller than the human hair's 100,000 billionths of a meter diameter). This article describes activities and models that introduce students to the components of DNA, including complementary base pairs and nucleotides, as well as the directionality of DNA--the fact that the two strands of DNA run in opposite directions to each other. In a kinesthetic activity, students position their bodies to create a DNA model and, in another activity, bend chenille stems (pipe cleaners) by hand to illustrate DNA structure and function. This helps students better understand growth and development of organisms, including inheritance and variation of traits. Students highly rate such simple classroom activities. The article includes a section that demonstrates how the activities connect to the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 10; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A