Do fruits have DNA?


I started this activity with the thought of teaching the students about DNA. I wanted to use an experimental approach because one of my objectives was to make an interactive activity that would include both genders and make my students more attracted to the science field in a STEM way. I had in mind a few words regarding the activity: innovation, collaboration, STEM, creativity, science, and experimentation.


The usage of STEM

Science is the main component, so this was the principal pillar of my activity. I wanted to put it in the center and surround it with the other parts. The second piece was technology, and I chose to use it for research, so we used it to learn about DNA and watch the pre-prepared videos. We used engineering to make the recipients and statives for them from previously recycled materials. We used math to calculate how much of each ingredient we should use to make the extraction solution to match the mass of the fruit from which we will extract the DNA. For this experiment, we needed fruits and extracting solution. The ingredients for the extracting solution: 5ml dishwashing detergent, 5ml disinfectant alcohol, 45ml water, and a coffee filter.


Picture provided by the author (Attribution CC-By)                                                                                                                             



My objectives for this activity were:

  • To make students take part in a learning activity based on collaborative work.
  • To make students gain vital STEM skills, such as the capacity to work in a team, communicative abilities, critical thinking, decision making, problem-solving, research, and data analysis.
  • To let students know about STEM fields and the opportunities they present in relation to their interest and future career.
  • To make an interactive activity that attracted the attention of the students.

Picture provided by the author (Attribution CC-By)


The experiment

At the beginning of the activity, we researched about DNA and found many pieces of information that students had to remember because, on the way, I would ask them questions about DNA. The next step was to make recipients and stands out of some materials students brought. After we made those things, we started to weigh every fruit and write the weight of each one down. I divided students in teams to prevent conflicts and ensure they will work efficiently. After, I assigned the fruits to the groups, and I asked them to recall information from the video. After that, we started the experiment, and everything went smoothly. After this activity, the students learned about DNA, its structure, and how it contains the “code of life.”

Picture provided by the author (Attribution CC-By)


About the author

Mînzicu Simona Valentina is a primary school teacher at the “Șerban Vodă” Theoretical High School in Slănic, Romania. He has been a Scientix ambassador for two years. He likes to involve his students in science education and prepare them to cope with life situations.

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