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Activities makes the lights go on

How do you teach about DNA in a hands-on way? Tammy Wells’ Cardington High School Honors bioIogy students benefited from her having attended the Ohio Soybean Council-sponsored Ag Biotech Academy workshop! “I would not have been able to do this without the free supplies,” Wells said.

After reading about restrictions enzymes and recombinant DNA, students used the bacteria models from this GrowNextGen lesson and attached labels and definitions. Wells said, “They also liked putting the restriction enzyme cards in order. They said it was all better than just reading it and looking at pictures, and they responded well to being able to manipulate the materials. They had a great time practicing pipetting and making the electrophoresis gels.”

Wells continued, “They were excited to see the gels after they ran and said they understood now how DNA is tested. They also said that it is more interesting since they did it first hand. When we did the human model and I had them move singly and then hooked together, you could see the lights go on and they understood what I meant by short fragments and long fragments and how they move through the gel.”

Wells said, “I think it is very valuable for them to actually be able to see the process and understand how it works rather than just looking at pictures and trying to explain it.”

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