DNA, What's it look like?

Seed to STEM
Grade Level: High School


It is important for students to understand what DNA is and how all cells utilize it. One major difference in this DNA lab is that we attempt to extract DNA from corn while we build a physical and mental model of the

structure of DNA. After extracting DNA and building a model, the students then attempt to utilize their newly acquired knowledge of the structure of DNA to optimize the extraction of DNA from corn.

This lab has three parts: 1) DNA extraction from canned corn, 2) DNA modeling activity to be done while waiting for part 1 results, and C) student experimenting with DNA extraction procedure to obtain more DNA.

Quick Resources

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Students will discover that DNA is the storage molecule for genetic information in the cell.
  • Students will create a model of the structure of DNA.
  • Students will extract DNA from corn using a specific protocol.
  • Students will design an experiment to extract the most DNA from a specific amount of corn.
  • Students will present their experimental results to the class.