Lego Sequencing Read Assembly

What You Do:

Humans have approximately 3 billion base pairs! How can we read this much DNA? One strategy is to break it into pieces, then put them back together. In this activity students can learn how to put multiple sequencing reads back together.

From: Commins, J., Toft, C., Fares, M. A. – “Computational Biology Methods and Their Application to the Comparative Genomics of Endocellular Symbiotic Bacteria of Insects.” Biol. Procedures Online (2009).
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Lego DNA Base Pairing

What You Do:

Teach kids about the genetic code by spelling and decoding codon secret messages with Lego bricks.

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Life Cycle Wheels

What You Do:

Explore the life cycles of different living things: plants, chickens, and frogs.

Compare the similarities and differences of these life cycles.

Build a paper plate life cycle wheel to visualize different stages of life.

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Discover DNA

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What You Do:

Explore how scale models are built and used.

Learn about DNA and its function in the body.

Investigate how information is stored in DNA.

Build a candy model of the DNA structure.

Decode a secret message.

PB and J Day

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What You Do:

Practice writing and following directions.

Understand why clear instructions are important.

Explain to your teacher how to make the best PB & J!

Tower Power

What You Do:

Explore the engineering design process.

Learn about engineers and their jobs.

Practice teamwork and communication skills.

Build a index card tower in response to a design challenge.

Lesson adapted from the Engineering Adventures “Shake Things Up” curriculum from The Museum of Science, Boston.

LittleBits Introduction

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What You Do:

Explore circuits and their components.

Use the engineering design process to solve a problem.

Build functional circuits with LittleBits.

Lesson and media based off the material available at the LittleBits website.

Recommended Lead-Up Lesson: Circular Circuits

MagLev Trains

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What You Do:

Explore how scale models are built and used.

Learn about and apply magnetic properties.

Implement the engineering design process to problem solve.

Build a magnetically levitating “train”.

Origami Frogs

What You Need:

  • Pre-cut green paperorigami-jumping-frog-7
  • Googly eyes
  • Origami instructions

origami-jumping-frog

What Do You Do?

  • Go through step-by-step instructions with the group as you make a jumping frog out of paper.
  • Add sticky eyes to the top and your frog is complete!

Summary:

This is intended as an end-of-year activity.  When kids are finished making frogs, we do a summary of all activities learned throughout the year–a bit of a question-answering contest.

 

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Bubble Geometry

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What You Need:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Small straws
  • Buckets with water
  • Dish soap

Bubble geometry

What Do You Do?

  • Thoroughly go over the bubble geometry presentation.
  • Give each student pipe cleaners and a handful of pre-cut small straws.
  • Have them make a cube, pyramid, or other 3-D shape with their supplies–make sure to keep a handle on the shape with pipe cleaners!
  • Go outside and dip the 3-D shape into the water with dish soap (bubble solution) and see what forms inside the shape.
  • If you can, try to blow bubbles with your wand!

What Happened?

Soap film must stretch to include the air trapped inside it, or reach the surfaces that form its boundaries.  The more soap film stretches, the more elastic potential energy it gains.  Soap film will stretch as little as possible to keep its potential energy low.  The soap film will try to keep its surface area small.