Central Area Best Practices Program Recognition
STEM Initiative: Do Strawberries have DNA?
Several members of the Harbor Lites Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, teamed with six professional scientists from Abbott Laboratories along with staff from Lions Mathematics & Science Christian Academy to provide an exciting scientific experiment to introduce students to DNA.
Twenty students, grades first through seventh, donned white laboratory coats, exam gloves, and safety goggles to prepare for the experiment. Jean Swopes, a former Abbott Laboratory scientist, and member of the Harbor Lites Chapter launched the exploration by asking the question, “Do strawberries have DNA?” They then isolated and examined the properties of DNA from fresh strawberries applying the scientific method as one way that all scientists explore the world.
Identified objectives included: 1) Students were able to observe first hand that DNA is in the food that they eat; 2) Students learned the simple method of extracting DNA and why each step is necessary due to the complex organization of DNA in cells; finally. 3) the students learned why it is important for scientists to extract DNA from living organisms.
In addition to Jean Swopes, Harbor Lites members Gerri Gray, Kamil Smith, Sheila January, Gwen Beckwith and Heather Schooler helped to facilitate the experiment. Some of the student participants were also members of the NSBE Jr. chapter that was proudly sponsored by Harbor Lites Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.