The DNA Files


DNA and genetics research is advancing rapidly, and with every development it is clearer that understanding DNA and genetics is a fundamental part of science literacy. To respond to this need, the Exploratorium has created downloadable workshop resources for non-scientist presenters in informal education environments to introduce general audiences to the basics of genetics. These interactive workshops use hands-on activities to explore fundamentals about DNA, its role in evolutionary change, similarities between humans and other creatures, and the role of climate change in genetic processes. The workshops can be presented on their own or in conjunction with episodes of the award-winning public radio documentary series The DNA Files.

About The DNA Files Workshops:

  • For use in informal education environments, for example museums, after school programs, home schools, or libraries.
  • Filled with hands-on activities and based on current science.
  • 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 teacher’s guide, materials list, and graphics.

Workshop Series

Activities and materials for a four-session introductory course in genetics designed for a group that will work together over time. The series is divided into four workshops: Introduction to DNA, Evolution, Comparing DNA, and the Genetics of Climate Change. Each workshop is 1 hour.

The DNA Files Workshop Series

Individual Workshops

Activities and materials for three self-contained workshops, each providing a basic introduction to DNA as well as focusing on a specific aspect: Evolution, Comparing DNA, and the Genetics of Climate Change. Each workshop is 1.5 hours.

The DNA Files Individual Workshops