This morning we welcomed scientists from Munster Technological University to fifth and sixth classes to undertake a workshop. We were learning about DNA and cells and our experiment today was to extract the DNA from a banana.
We worked together in pairs and followed our experiment step by step. Working scientifically requires precision and we listened very carefully to our tutors. We observed the process of filtration using a test tube and filter paper. Working scientifically requires great patience and aptitude. It was just like being in a laboratory as we got the opportunity to use pipettes,test tubes and other equipment.
We squashed a banana to separate the cells and mixed it with saline, the saline helped clump the DNA so we could collect it later.We filtered to remove the big clumps of banana cells to leave a clear suspension. We added soap which broke down the fats in the cell membranes to release the DNA. We learned that DNA is insoluble in ethanol . Finally the DNA clumped and floated to the top so we could collect it. We used food dye to colour the ethanol so we could see the DNA better.
We were fascinated by the experiment and we are all looking forward to undertaking further experiments. Some of us expressed a desire to study Science in the future and become researchers.
A huge Thank You to MTU staff for coming to our school today.