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.
Materials List (Evolution_materials_series.pdf)
Instruction Hunt activity sheets (instruction_hunt.pdf)
Moth pictures on light background—poster size (moths_light_poster.pdf)
Moth pictures on light background—letter size (moths_light_ltr.pdf)
Moth pictures on dark background—poster size (moths_dark_poster.pdf)
Moth pictures on dark background—letter size (moths_dark_ltr.pdf)
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.
Sneacher Valley “before” poster (valley_before_poster.pdf)
Sneacher Valley “before” poster—letter size (valley_before_ltr.pdf)
Sneacher Valley “after” poster (valley_after_poster.pdf)
Sneacher Valley “after” poster—letter size (valley_after_ltr.pdf)
Compare/Contrast chart (compare_chart_poster.pdf)
Compare/Contrast chart—letter size (compare_chart_ltr.pdf)
Magnetic DNA sequence strips—black & white (dna_seq_strip_gray.pdf)
Magnetic DNA sequence strips—color (dna_seq_strip.pdf)
Base spinners—black & white (spinner_gray.pdf)
Base spinners—color (spinner.pdf)
Additional magnetic bases (addt_bases.pdf)
DNA sequence comparison worksheet (dna_sequence_comp.pdf)
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.