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DNA Discovery in Middle School

February 12, 2010


Hi all,
Thought I would share a biology project that I donated to back in December — Our Ancestors’ DNA Roots

“I teach middle school math science and history for beginning ESL students. My students originate from all parts of the globe including Sudan, Peru, Mexico, Korea, and Japan. 80% of my students receive free or reduced lunches.
Students often see subjects such as history and science as unrelated. In the community where my students live they often do not see the practical application of scientific methods in the work force. Additionally, the rich diversity of cultures makes the idea of interconnectedness especially important.

Testing our mitochondrial DNA will allow my students to trace their haplogroups and trace their ancestors migrations out of Africa. We’ll be able to find common ancestors between us and tell the history of the human race. Using the lab equipment (the conical tubes, saline solution, and kit) students will process their own DNA using the same process anthropologists and forensic experts use, giving students a real connection to science in the work force. The DNA models and evolution charts will be used to explain the processes of population shifts and explain how we can use DNA to determine common ancestors.

Your help will fund a project that connects science (through genetics), history, and math. Students will get training in DNA testing that is used by real scientists everyday. This project makes the vital concept of DNA tangible and gives my students the tools needed to access higher science subjects in high school. You will make it possible for my students to describe our common heritage as humans.

My students need 9 pieces of DNA analysis equipment such as conical tubes, saline solution, DNA models, evolution charts, and a DNA Replication and Transcription Set.”

Check out some photos from the project:

There is a whole range of biology, biotech, and DNA related projects that you can contribute to on the Donors Choose website:


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