Make stringy DNA molecules visible Make stringy DNA molecules visible

Author: Irena Skolilova, Alena Hrabovska.


Implemented in: Slovenia, Portugal and Belgium (French Community)

The lesson is intended as a first introduction to DNA or as a quick, easy and impressive hands-on accompaniment to or refreshing of the topic. The objective of the GP is that students learn about DNA and basic procedures that are used in molecular biology by sampling their own DNA. They learn basic laboratory skills such as pipetting, measuring fluid volume and respecting rules in laboratories, besides of course knowledge on DNA structure.

Success stories

A Portuguese teacher stated that in his view this GP is very important for the students, because “laboratory activities are of the utmost importance for understanding the content and this was particularly attractive: the mystery involved in making invisible DNA visible, research, problem solving and understanding of content.” The fact that students have to extract their own DNA was mostly very motivating for the students; in a few cases in Belgium some parents were not willing to let their children extract their own DNA, so the teacher decided to extract DNA from a kiwi with the students, which was equally interesting. In general, as mentioned by a Slovenian teacher, the students “were fascinated by the fact that DNA molecules are unique in the living world, and it doesn’t matter what kind of cells they use for the isolation, kiwi, banana, tomato or human epithelia cells.”

Materials Materials

The practice

Make stringy DNA molecules visible

The Moodle course

Make stringy DNA molecules visible Moodle