Third Graders Invite Upper School Science Teacher Jeffrey Herschenhous to Teach Student-Requested Lesson on DNA

Upper School Science Teacher Jeffrey Herschenhous paid a visit to our third graders to teach a special, student-requested lesson on DNA.
The previous week, a student noticed Mr. Herschenhous’s DNA model on a shelf in the science classroom and asked his teacher, Jennifer Vermont-Davis, if the class could please learn about DNA. Ms. Vermont-Davis eagerly obliged, inviting Mr. Herschenhous in to teach the lesson himself!
 
Mr. Herschenhous, wearing a DNA patterned necktie, used the DNA model to show boys the double-helix structure of DNA, and explained that DNA forms chromosomes, which are located in the nucleus of cells. The boys are currently learning about cells - the structures and functions of animal and plant cells - during class with Ms. Vermont-Davis. The boys will later stretch their learning by using the microscope in class with Ms. Vermont-Davis to identify the differences between animal and plant cells.
 
Mr. Herschenhous placed an onion root cell under a microscope and projected the image onto a Legamaster so the boys could see first-hand the DNA inside these rectangular plant cells. Mr. Herschenhous gave the boys an introduction to genetics, explaining that a parent’s DNA dictates what hair and eye color and other traits their offspring will have. When asked what kinds of traits they thought onion root DNA might hold, the boys suggested perhaps the number of layers or how fast the onion grows.
 
To finish off class, the boys received fun, DNA-shaped fake tattoos!
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