STEAM at Home: Extracting DNA from Strawberries

Are you looking for some easy STEAM Activities to do at home? Why not try Extracting DNA from Strawberries! 

During each session of  CSI Camp,  Irving School Teacher Adam Batista leads rising 3rd and 4th graders in an attempt to extract DNA from strawberries. This activity requires common household ingredients and is a fun challenge for kids and even adults! Strawberries have a significant amount of DNA and by adding soap-the strawberrie’s cell walls break up and release the DNA and the salt makes it easier for the DNA strands to clump together so that you can see it.

Required Ingredients: 

  • Rubbing Alcohol

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • 4 Large Size Strawberries with tops cut off

  • Coffee Filter

  • 1 Tbsp Dishwashing Liquid

  • Funnel

  • ⅓ cup Water

  • Plastic Gallon Size Bag

  • Two Measuring Spoons

  • 1 Stirring Stick

  • Glass Jar

Directions:

  1. Ahead of time, put the rubbing alchohol in the freezer to chill
  2. Place 1/2 tsp of salt in the water and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Place the dishwashing liquid into the waer and stir.
  4. Place the strawberries into the ziplock bag and remoce the air before the bag is closed.
  5. Squash the strawberries for two minutes until they are liquid.
  6. Add 3 TBS of water mixture to your strawberry mixture and mix them for 1 minute.
  7. Create a funnel from the coffee filter and place into the funnel and then the jar.
  8. Pour the mixed liquid into the funnel and allow it to filter for 30 minutes.
  9. Pour the rubbing alcohol along the side of the jar to create a 1 inch layer on top of your strawberry mixture. Do not mix the rubbing alcohol and teh strawberry liquid extract.
  10. With the alcohol sitting on top of the strawberry liquid, while strand of DNA will precipitate to the top of the liquid and can be finshed out with a strring stick.

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