JWPMS 6th Graders Learn About DNA Through K’Nex

Posted on February 26, 2014, in Academics, Lancer Life

DNA Knex 1

Last year, James W. Parker Middle School science teachers Stephen Macfarlane and Wendy Berchtold received $500 through the the William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program Grant to implement a genetics project. Now, the sixth graders have seen the benefits of the grant.

Using the 10 K’NEX Corporation DNA kits that were purchased through the grant, the middle school students spent two double periods last week learning about the structure of DNA, how and why it forms a double helix (twisted ladder), and how DNA copies or replicates itself prior to cell division such as meiosis and mitosis. These kits allowed the students to build accurate DNA molecules, to manipulate the models to see how cells copy DNA and to see how the sequences of DNA are “read” by cell to make vital proteins.

The grant stems from former James W. Parker Middle School math teacher Bill Smith and his wife, Mary. The $500 classroom grants are to fund special projects/activities/enhancements for middle school teachers.Last year, JWPMS teacher Bill Weber also received the grant for a literacy project.

For more pictures of the projects, check out the General McLane School District Facebook Page.