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Extracting DNA From Your Halloween (or Thanksgiving!) Pumpkins
Don't throw your carved Halloween pumpkin away before doing this fun experiment to extract its DNA!
Halloween is over, and you have a carved jack o'lantern sitting outside ready for the trash or compost heap. Don't throw that gourd away just yet! Or maybe you have a pumpkin or butternut squash that you're using to make some desserts and you can spare a few pieces for science! In this class, we will learn about the structure of DNA and extract it from the cells of a pumpkin using simple tools that you have in your kitchen! In this class, students will learn that all living things have DNA,...
I am a certified chemistry teacher (grades 7-12) with 6.5 years of experience in the classroom. I have also taught freshman college chemistry. From these experiences, I have worked with a lot of different types of learners at various stages of interest and motivation- from high school students simply taking the class as a requirement to college freshmen chemistry majors passionate about the course with never ending questions. I can tailor my teaching style to fit the learner, and I do what I can to make it approachable by anyone.
1 file available upon enrollmentTo complete the hands-on portion of the experiment, students will need a clear cup (glass or plastic), dish soap, table salt, water, a ziploc bag (sandwich size is fine!), rubbing alcohol, coffee filters or cheesecloth, pumpkin pieces (1 or two small chunks) or canned pumpkin, and a wooden dowel or straw. If they have a test tube or graduated cylinder, that would be great too, but not a requirement! I'd also recommend having a piece of banana or strawberry on hand (frozen is fine) since sometimes, students have trouble getting a large yield of DNA from pumpkin- bananas and strawberries consistently produce great results.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
Some students may need help cutting the pieces of pumpkin or opening the can of pumpkin. Students may want to try extracting DNA from other foods as well after class.
Meet the teacher
Hi! I'm Julie and I'll be your guide as we navigate the amazing world of Chemistry! In addition to my time teaching on Outschool, I have over two decades of experience teaching and tutoring chemistry at various levels, and I'm excited to be able...
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(17)
Completed by 45 learners
Live video meetings
3-12 learners per class