A journey into DNA and Genomics
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A journey into DNA and Genomics

[music] Since the structure of DNA was discovered in 1953, the science of DNA has moved incredibly quickly. We know far more now about what it is, and
how it makes us unique. And one of the latest areas of DNA science
is Genomics. Here at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum,
we’ve been working with the Yorkshire and Humber Genomic Medicine Centre to bring the
science of DNA and Genomics to our visitors. The main learning objectives we set out to
achieve for this project were: What is DNA? What does it look like? And, how do variations
and inheritance make us similar and different from everyone else, and everything else, around
us? We covered this through different activities
designed to engage visitors of all ages and interests, but particularly our younger visitors. For looking at what DNA is, we extracted DNA from the cells or strawberries and bananas.
When talking about what DNA looks like, we made bracelets with the DNA code for eye colours,
and had giant foam DNA structures, so visitors could get hands-on.
For variation in inheritance, we had a taste test, to see if you’d inherited a gene for
liking brussel sprouts. We looked at how much DNA we had in common with other animals and
bananas, and had an alien inheritance game where you created your own alien by seeing
what features were inherited from the parent aliens.
Alongside these activities, we also linked it back to Genomics and the 100,000 Genome Project. “One piece of lovely feedback that we got
was from a young girl who took part in the project. Her mum had passed away not too long
ago. She got really engaged with the activities – especially the one about inheritance. And
as she was leaving, she was really excited because she felt like she still shared a part of herself with her mum.”

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