- We began our outreach at a local elementary school. We decided to approach an elementary school because, for many of us, that is where the seeds were planted that grew our love for learning-especially science. Below are some activities we did with a class of fifth graders.
- We showed the kids how to extract DNA from strawberries. It was a fun experiment that got them thinking about DNA, genes, and cells. After talking about DNA we talked about how the genes found in DNA make strawberries strawberries. We got many curiosity questions like, "Could you make a watermelon strawberry?" The kids were very proud when their DNA extraction worked and they could see the DNA clumping up.
- To introduce the idea of bioengineering we did an active exercise with the kids. We had most of the class get in a circle formation around their desks, they created the cell. We then selected a few kids and labeled them with a specific gene (clockwise, smart, red, etc.). Once the "gene" made it into the cell, the cell had to express the gene. We explained how we can choose different genes like that to get the cell to do what we want it to do. We also gave them a new vocabulary word, Apoptosis.