Finding their DNA


Seventh-graders extract DNA to take home

By Wendy Byerly Wood - [email protected]



Angela Adams, Elkin Middle School seventh-grade science teacher, adds rubbing alcohol to a tube of liquid to extract the DNA as Amani Tilley and Kayla Nguyen look on with anticipation.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Seventh-graders Laura Couch and Morgan Matthews add to their mixtures as they prepare to extract their DNA.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Logan Wilmoth, Ethan VanHorn, Markus Jones and Eli Powell work on extracting their DNA in science class at Elkin Middle School.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Carter Hampton watches as Clay Sebastian adds chemicals to his tube in the process of extracting DNA Thursday.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Daniel Bautista, left, and Judah Christian put their tubes in the incubator to warm up the chemical mixture so the DNA can be extracted.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Daniel Bautista adds chemicals to the tube where his DNA will be extracted.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Summer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program shows Angela Adams’ seventh-graders a model of DNA, which she said typically is white not colored.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Chandler Beals and Margaret Freeman look closely in a dropper for the extracted DNA which was then put in a vial to take home.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Summer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program adds rubbing alcohol to students’ tubes so they can see their DNA solidify.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Kayla Nguyen works to extract her solidified DNA from a tube so it can be put in a vial to take home during Angela Adams’ seventh-grade science class at Elkin Middle School Thursday.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Using a few items most people have at home, seventh-graders at Elkin Middle School got to extract their DNA so they could see it and take it home in a vial strung around their neck Thursday.

The science project is part of their genetics curriculum in Angela Adams’ classroom, and was led by Summer Cortinas, a member of the North Carolina BioNetwork Outreach program from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Once the students scraped the inside of their cheek for DNA, they added to the scraping saltwater, diluted dish detergent and meat tenderizer, then put the tubes of mixture in an incubator of warm water for three or four minutes. The mixture dissolves the cell membrane. After removing the tubes, rubbing alcohol was added to the tube, which causes the DNA to constrict and solidify in the liquid, so it can be extracted.

Each student got a small vial and a strand of black yarn, and after finding their floating DNA in the tube, they used a skinny dropper to suck it out of the tube and put it in the vial, before stringing it around their necks for safe keeping until they got home.

Cortinas explained that the BioNetwork outreach has about 20 projects its offers to classes for ages up through community college.

This is the third year Adams has welcomed BioNetwork into her classroom after learning about its programs during a conference for science teachers in Charlotte.

“In reality, DNA is colorless, and when it’s smushed together it is white,” Cortinas explained to the students as she held a large colored model of a spiral DNA strand. “DNA is important, because it makes you you.”

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Angela Adams, Elkin Middle School seventh-grade science teacher, adds rubbing alcohol to a tube of liquid to extract the DNA as Amani Tilley and Kayla Nguyen look on with anticipation.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0019.jpgAngela Adams, Elkin Middle School seventh-grade science teacher, adds rubbing alcohol to a tube of liquid to extract the DNA as Amani Tilley and Kayla Nguyen look on with anticipation. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Seventh-graders Laura Couch and Morgan Matthews add to their mixtures as they prepare to extract their DNA.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0006.jpgSeventh-graders Laura Couch and Morgan Matthews add to their mixtures as they prepare to extract their DNA. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Logan Wilmoth, Ethan VanHorn, Markus Jones and Eli Powell work on extracting their DNA in science class at Elkin Middle School.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0007.jpgLogan Wilmoth, Ethan VanHorn, Markus Jones and Eli Powell work on extracting their DNA in science class at Elkin Middle School. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Carter Hampton watches as Clay Sebastian adds chemicals to his tube in the process of extracting DNA Thursday.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0009.jpgCarter Hampton watches as Clay Sebastian adds chemicals to his tube in the process of extracting DNA Thursday. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Daniel Bautista, left, and Judah Christian put their tubes in the incubator to warm up the chemical mixture so the DNA can be extracted.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0010.jpgDaniel Bautista, left, and Judah Christian put their tubes in the incubator to warm up the chemical mixture so the DNA can be extracted. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Daniel Bautista adds chemicals to the tube where his DNA will be extracted.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0003.jpgDaniel Bautista adds chemicals to the tube where his DNA will be extracted. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Summer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program shows Angela Adams’ seventh-graders a model of DNA, which she said typically is white not colored.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0031.jpgSummer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program shows Angela Adams’ seventh-graders a model of DNA, which she said typically is white not colored. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Chandler Beals and Margaret Freeman look closely in a dropper for the extracted DNA which was then put in a vial to take home.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0027.jpgChandler Beals and Margaret Freeman look closely in a dropper for the extracted DNA which was then put in a vial to take home. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Summer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program adds rubbing alcohol to students’ tubes so they can see their DNA solidify.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0021.jpgSummer Cortinas of the NC BioNetwork Outreach program adds rubbing alcohol to students’ tubes so they can see their DNA solidify. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Kayla Nguyen works to extract her solidified DNA from a tube so it can be put in a vial to take home during Angela Adams’ seventh-grade science class at Elkin Middle School Thursday.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_DSC_0023.jpgKayla Nguyen works to extract her solidified DNA from a tube so it can be put in a vial to take home during Angela Adams’ seventh-grade science class at Elkin Middle School Thursday. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune
Seventh-graders extract DNA to take home

By Wendy Byerly Wood

[email protected]

Elkin Tribune
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