Exploratorium
The DNA Files

HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS

THE DNA FILES WORKSHOP SERIES:

A four-session introductory course in genetics

The DNA Files Workshop Series is a chance to explore DNA in depth. Each workshop builds on the previous workshop, developing and underscoring DNAís affect on all aspects of our world.

About The DNA Files Workshop Series:

  • Broken into four workshops: Introduction to DNA, Evolution, Comparing DNA, and the Genetics of Climate Change.a
  • Recommended schedule is one-workshop per week for a month.
  • Roughly 1 hour long.
  • Can accommodate 20–30 participants.
  • Filled with hands-on activities and based on current science.
  • For use in informal education environments, for example museums, after school programs, home schools, or libraries.
  • No prior knowledge about DNA is required for the educator or the participants; the workshops can be taught by non-scientists.
  • Suitable for two audience demographics: 5th-7th graders or families. With families, children as young as 7 can participate in the workshops.
  • Fully downloadable, including detailed teacherís guide, materials list, and graphics.

Workshop #1: Introduction to DNA

What is DNA, and what does it do? Participants will build a DNA model, extract and examine DNA from wheat germ cells, and explore how DNA encodes information for building complete organisms.

Workshop #2: Evolution

How do creatures evolve? What role does DNA play in evolution? Participants will learn the concepts of genetic mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

Workshop #3: Comparing DNA

Scientists can now “map” an organism’s genome. This workshop illustrates what we can learn about ourselves from comparing our DNA to that of other creatures.

Workshop 4: The Genetics of Climate Change

How does a creature’s DNA adapt to a changing world? This workshop focuses on the basics of climate change and how global warming affects the adaptation of organisms to their environments.