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Learning to love science

13/09/2018

​You don’t have to be a geneticist to be able to observe DNA. As part of National Science Week, Year 3 students were very fortunate to experience a workshop conducted by one of the parent community, Cyndy Nauer, who is a scientist specialising in stem cell technologies.


The workshop was an introduction to the building blocks of life - DNA and cells. Firstly, students had a chance to look at various types of cells under the microscope, draw what they saw and learn about the parts of a cell.
Next they learnt about DNA, the chemical instructions inside all cells. DNA can easily be seen by the naked eye when collected from thousands of cells. Students worked in pairs to extract DNA from strawberries using common household items like detergent and ice. It involved students having to put strawberries in a bag and remove as much air as possible. They had fun squeezing and smashing the strawberries with their fingers!


After a process of warming and chilling the strawberry liquid (conducted by adults), the budding scientists had to filter the solution through cheesecloth. The filtered solution is called the supernatant and this is where the DNA can be found!!
After a few more processes using salt and other common materials, students sucked up the white, sticky DNA using pipettes and observe on a black plate.
All the Year 3 classes experienced being a scientist for a day and experiencing how much fun science is. As Academic Talent teacher Jane Lethlean explained ‘We are very fortunate to have an amazing school community, with parents volunteering their time and expertise. Cyndy’s invaluable contribution in holding these hands-on workshops for all our year 3 learners meant that they were able to understand completely a complexity that would have taken many lessons in an ordinary class lesson. The growth in technology has allowed primary science to advance tremendously and it’s fantastic that we are now able to celebrate and enjoy all that it has to offer during Science Week.’