Fifth graders have begun their DNA unit of study, conducted through our partnership with the Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center, the world's first science center devoted entirely to genetics education.
Last week, DNALC educator Mrs. McBrien and Saint David's science teachers, Mrs. Einhorn and Mrs. Liebowitz, led the boys in a session on the process of DNA extraction. The boys experimented removing DNA from wheat germ cells, using liquid soap to break apart the cell membrane and release the genetic material.
In this unit, the boys use sophisticated laboratory equipment to perform the same protocols geneticists use to extract and analyze DNA. In total, they will participate in six in-school learning experiences co-taught by our teachers and scientists from DNALC. Next week, they will will spend Monday at the CSH labs where they will meet with geneticists who are working on cancer research, and they will conduct labs in which they observe mutant organisms under the microscope.
The school's partnership with the CSH DNA Learning Center is now in its fifth year and includes units in the fifth and eighth grades. This collaboration provides our boys with the invaluable opportunity to work with scientists on the cutting-edge of DNA research; evoking a passion for learning about DNA and leveraging a renowned scientific institution as an extension of our campus.