The Little Learning Warriors build DNA strands out of candy!  With help from the high school Tech Warriors, the elementary students were guided through building their DNA strands out of marshmallows, twizzlers, and toothpicks while learning that DNA is responsible for many physical traits they possess.  Tech Warriors listed a series of traits aloud to the students, who added to their DNA strands if they possessed that trait. Through this exercise they saw each other build differing DNA strands and learned that everybody’s DNA is different.

Next, as a demonstration, a few volunteers were selected from the group of students.  They were instructed to twist their bodies — arms, legs, back, neck — as much as they can, and then told to stand together as close as possible.  This was to make a point that sometimes to store things better, we make them more elongated and stretched, just like how ropes are coiled, or paper is thin and stacked.  This is the same with DNA.

The students learned that there are an incredible amount of differences — eye color, height, which hand someone writes with, whether or not someone is able to loop their tongue — that are all influenced by DNA like a tiny list of instructions that tells the body what it should do!