DNA Structure for a High School Project


If you are teaching genetics or cellular biology to high school students, you can make the lessons more whimsical and exciting by providing the pupils with a hands-on craft related to the subject matter. For example, if students are learning about DNA, they can construct a basic DNA strand using materials that can be found at any grocery store or supermarket: gum drops and toothpicks.

Things You'll Need

  • Gumdrops
  • Toothpicks
  • Push a toothpick through three gumdrops side by side. Repeat this process six times to create six sets of three gum drops.

  • Place the sets in two rows of three sets each, end to end.

  • Press the gumdrop sets in each row together to insert the tips of their toothpicks into adjoining sets of gumdrops to connect each row into a long chain. You now have two long chains of attached gumdrops.

  • Make sure the chains are aligned side by side. Now place toothpicks horizontally between each gumdrop in one chain and its adjacent gumdrop in the other chain. Repeat this process until all of the gumdrops in the chains are connected by horizontal toothpicks.

  • Hold the DNA structure carefully in your hands and twist it slightly to complete the DNA structure. This structure is known as a double helix.

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  • Photo Credit dna image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com
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