Understanding what’s going on inside a living organism’s cell and how genetic information is stored and transferred is a tough thing for a schoolkid. Professors at Skoltech’s Center for Open Education gave a master class for schoolkids, using construction kits to explain what the DNA consists of, what nucleotides are, and how they interact with each other to form a double helix.
The kids built their own nucleotide sequences and unique DNA molecules, thus reproducing the DNA replication process – the pillar of hereditary information transfer.
The master class offered insights into how DNA is transferred from one cell to another during the cell fission process and how genetic information is passed from parents to children. Although the DNA functioning and genetic information transfer mechanisms are beyond the scope of school curriculum, the kids with a passion for biology did an excellent job solving challenging molecular genetics tasks. Most of them will take their Unified State Exam in biology and continue studying genetic engineering – a frontier area of modern science.
“What a typical biology class at school lacks is the chance for the kids to do some exciting things, for example, coming to grips with a difficult topic while using simple construction kits, assembling a molecule on their own or doing practical experiments, which should incite further interest in research and design,” says Anton Frykin, a biology teacher at the Skolkovo International Gymnasium.
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