This week, seventh grade Life Science students enjoyed a hands-on learning experience where they extracted DNA from a strawberry and made observations of its structure.
“The students really enjoyed the practicality of the DNA extraction lab,” shared Mr. Loporchio, SCCS Secondary Science teacher. “We extracted DNA from a strawberry through a series of steps to give students a hands-on look and experience of concepts we have been reading about. We teach DNA is within all living cells but to actually see it adds another dimension for them.”
Students walked through each step in the procedure of extraction to isolate DNA from other cellular materials as they smashed strawberries, combined strawberries with a salty/soapy solution, filtered the strawberry slurry through cheesecloth and added ethanol to the filtered extract. They observed the DNA and compared what they know about the chemical structure of DNA.
“This lab fits into our ongoing study of life from the beginning of creation through the study of modern-day genetics,” continued Mr. Loporchio. “I believe this study reinforces Paul’s description of faith beginning in Hebrews 11:1.”
To further analyze their results, students were encouraged to ask questions like, ‘Why is it important for scientists to be able to remove DNA from an organism?’ and “Is there DNA in your food?” Mr. Loporchio enjoys connecting scientific observation and study to God and what we can learn about His character.
“Being in various learning environments over the past 35 years, SCCS is a unique setting in which faculty and staff can proclaim and live out the gospel message daily,” shared Mr. Loporchio. “I am excited to help students make a connection between the creation around them and the Creator. In doing so, my hope and prayer would be that they can take ownership of their Christian faith and apply their faith to all aspects of their life including the study of the life sciences.”