The fabulous Vertex volunteers were back again to lead our students in an exciting science experiment - extracting DNA from strawberries! During the strawberry DNA experiment students were able to extract, isolate, and observe the DNA of a strawberry using household products and materials. Students started off by reading over the instructions and gathering materials for the experiment. Every student had their own scientist kit equipped with gloves and safety goggles!
Students poured an extraction mixture into a bag with strawberries. They used their hands to mash and smoosh the strawberries inside the bag so that no large pieces were remaining.
Students then poured their strawberry pulp and extraction mixture through a strainer. They isolated the DNA on the surface of their mixture and pulled out the DNA! Many students thought the DNA looked like snot or slime.
Students learned that DNA is present in all plants and animals and determines all genetic traits. We had a great time thinking like scientists and showing persistence.
I started a new club in the library this year for third grade students. One Friday a month I hosted a “Farm Friends Club” where students were introduced to farms and animal care. We read stories about different kinds of farm animals and learned about their personalities, what each animal is used for, and what each animal produces or contributes.
With the help of a farm owner and animal expert, students had a chance to get some hands-on experiences. They learned about equestrian gear and apparel, then got to practice siting on a real saddle and using stirrups. They got to taste goat cheese and they even got to feel different kinds of manure!
Some of the animals we learned about were:
Donkeys – their personalities and their use as guard animals.
Horses & Ponies – the different breeds, their jobs and how to take care of them.
Goats – their personalities and how they contribute to us with cheese and fiber for clothing.
Pigs – their intelligence and how they contribute to us with meat.
The students and I had a great time learning about the importance of farm animals and how we can support animal welfare.
Mrs. Keohane is the School Librarian at the P.A. Shaw. She loves hockey, going to the beach, and reading (obviously!)