Image showing DNA sequence.
DNA to the Max student workshop (New South Wales)
Information for teachers about the DNA to the Max hands-on class for students in years 9-12, including booking details.
1 February 2011 | Updated 5 December 2012
DNA to the Max is a ‘hands on’ program appropriate for students in 9-12. Students will be introduced to the world of DNA science and perform two experiments: an extraction of DNA from CSIRO's BARLEYmax™ and a gel electrophoresis experiment.
The program addresses a number of outcomes in the NSW science syllabus including 5.3 (applications of science), 5.5 (current issues and developments) and 5.8 (Watson-Crick model of DNA) and Senior Biology 9.3 (Blueprint of Life) and is especially relevant for option 9.6 (Biotechnology). The program is also suitable for the stage 6 Senior Chemistry option 9.9 ‘Forensic Chemistry’
Extraction of DNA from BARLEYmax™ The purpose of the DNA extraction is simply to show students that DNA is present in cells. After extraction and separation steps using a centrifuge, students will precipitate and spool strands of DNA. Students will be provided with pictorial lab notes on the day. A brief discussion on where DNA is found in cells, its role in cell development and the Watson-Crick model of DNA is also covered.
Gel electrophoresis experiment
The purpose of this experiment is to show students how DNA can be separated, identified and used in different applications. Time will be allocated for all students to practice using the micropipette. Selected students will be required to load the gel with DNA using a micropipette.
The experiments are presented in the context of food adulteration where CSIRO receives complaints that the cereal products using BARLEYmax™ aren’t producing the desired health effects. Students will analyse the DNA of the barley by performing a gel electrophoresis experiment to see if it is BARLEYmax™ or standard barley.
Techniques such as the use of restriction enzymes and recombinant DNA technology, using plasmids as vectors, and transformation of bacteria can be discussed as appropriate. At the end of the session students will visualise the gel and be able to identify fragment lengths of plasmid DNA produced by a restriction digest.
This program is appropriate for students in years 9-12. Maximum 30 students per session.
A$12 per student, A$300 class minimum.
A minimum daily cost of A$450 applies for in-school visits, but not at the North Ryde centre.
We require a room with:
- 15 tables or equivalent bench space for 30 students to sit comfortably
- 3 power points
- a sink with running water
- a microwave oven nearby
- a projection screen
- a laboratory is ideal but not essential.
Please allow for a set up time of 40 minutes and a pack up time of 60 minutes.
Find out about other programs run by CSRIO’s Science Education Centre (New South Wales).