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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
DNA, double helix, candy

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 use pieces of candy to 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

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
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 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Soft candy that comes in four different colors such as gummy bears, gum drops, or mini marshmallows (10 of each color)
  • Twizzlers (2) (or similar rope-like candy)
  • Toothpicks (5)
  • Paper
  • Pen (or marker)
  • Paper towel

Reviews

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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
DNA, double helix, candy
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