Scientist Cyndy Nauer, specialist in stem cell technologies, teaches Year 3 Sunshine Beach State School learners about DNA.
Scientist Cyndy Nauer, specialist in stem cell technologies, teaches Year 3 Sunshine Beach State School learners about DNA.

Learning to love science

AS PART of National Science Week, Sunshine Beach State School Year 3 students were fortunate to attend a workshop conducted by parent Cyndy Nauer, who is a scientist specialising in stem cell technologies.

The workshop was an introduction to the building blocks of life - DNA and cells.

Students had a chance to look at various types of cells under the microscope and learn about DNA. DNA can easily be seen by the naked eye when collected from thousands of cells.

Using common household items like detergent and ice, students worked in pairs to extract DNA from strawberries. It involved students having to put strawberries in a bag and remove as much air as possible. They had fun squeezing and smashing the strawberries with their fingers!

After a process of warming and chilling the strawberry liquid (conducted by adults), the budding scientists filtered the solution through cheesecloth. The filtered solution is called the supernatant and this is where the DNA can be found.

After a few more processes, students sucked up the white, sticky DNA using pipettes and observed it on a black plate.

All the Year 3 classes experienced being a scientist for a day and how much fun science is.

"We are very fortunate to have an amazing school community, with parents volunteering their time and expertise,” teacher Jane Lethlean said.

"Cyndy's invaluable contribution in holding these hands-on workshops meant that they were able to understand completely a complexity that would have taken many (an) ordinary class lesson. The growth in technology has allowed primary science to advance tremendously and it's fantastic that we are now able to celebrate and enjoy all that it has to offer during Science Week.”


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