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Colorful Double Helix, A Gene-ius Activity

Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
DNA, Double Helix
double helix model

Introduction

Ever wondered how DNA, the genetic blueprint of a life-form, can encode and pass on the information on how to grow and maintain that life-form? Just like a cookbook contains a complete recipe for a dish, DNA stores the recipe for the life of an organism. Although each human has a unique DNA sequence, the DNA in all of us is about 99.9% identical! In this activity, you will make a model for a short section of DNA—enough to get a sense of what DNA is like and how it encodes life.

Credits

Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Tape, about 2 cm wide and 1.5 m long
  • Cardstock or sturdy paper
  • Red, yellow, blue, and green markers
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • A partner
  • Blanket or sheets of paper
    DNA model materials

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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
DNA, Double Helix