Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

DNA Day for Grades 5 and 8

Last Thursday was "DNA Day" for our fifth and eighth graders.

Our fifth graders spent the day off campus, at the DNALC Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor where they solved a forensic science mystery.

Using a technique called DNA fingerprinting, the boys successfully identified which of three suspects could be proven to be at the scene of a bank robbery.

This three-hour lab procedure required the boys to use micropipettors and a centrifuge, and to perform gel electrophoresis. The boys loved the chance to be DNA detectives.

At the same time, back at school I visited our Upper School science lab, where eighth graders were having their first DNA session with a DNALC educator.

The boys learned about the composition of DNA, made their own models of DNA, and then worked on a lab to extract DNA from a bacteria cell, using liquid soap to break apart the cell membrane and release the DNA.

Adding ethanol to the tubes then allowed the DNA to rise in the solution, and be made visible. The boys were thrilled to be able to actually see the DNA without a microscope, something mysterious made tangible!

This is the second year of Saint David's collaboration with the DNALC for Fifth Grade, and the first for the Eighth Grade. Our collaboration with DNALC is enabling both grades to gain valuable hands-on experience and insights into DNA science through in-depth work conducted with DNALC scientists.

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