The 8th graders kicked off their genetics unit by attempting to extract the DNA from strawberries or their very own cheek cells. To extract the DNA from strawberries, the 8th graders simply had to mush them. To extract DNA from their cheek cells they had to swish a mixture of saltwater. Then the strawberry mush or cheek cells were mixed with dish soap and finally rubbing alcohol to break open the cells and release the DNA.
Our 6th graders are learning about thermal (heat) energy. A lot of what we learn about has to do with what the molecules are doing in a substance when they are heated or cooled. Since we can’t see molecules, why not use a marshmallow or balloon to help understand what is happening. The 6th graders did an at-home lab where they used heat to expand a marshmallow or balloon. Then, they had to video their explanation of what the molecules were doing inside the marshmallow or balloon when heated.
Click on the images below to see the videos of these experiments.