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Riverside Students Learn About DNA through Extraction Lab

Riverside_SOAR_1Sarah Gillard’s 6th-grade SOAR class at Riverside Intermediate School recently completed a DNA Lab where students extracted DNA from both strawberries and bananas. SOAR stands for Securing Outstanding Academics at Riverside. Students in the SOAR class meet daily and the time is used to provide students with additional learning opportunities through hands-on remediation and enrichment. Gillard said the course is designed so that every student can reach his or her maximum potential.

Riverside_Soar_2The lab was part of the Genius Hour that Mrs. Gillard’s students participate in during SOAR time. Genius Hour is a time set aside during the academic school day in which students may research, design, and explore topics that they find to be interesting.

After Gillard’s students extracted DNA from bananas and strawberries, they were able to compare the two types of DNA. Before the lab, students researched DNA and presented their findings.

Riverside_SOAR_3Gillard said, “Our students at Riverside that worked on the DNA lab are brilliant. These students took a college-level experiment, and made it their own. By breaking down each step and explaining it thoroughly, our sixth grade students were not only able to understand the experiment, they were able to teach others. That is true mastery. At Riverside Intermediate, we strive to help each student reach their potential through providing support, encouragement and scaffolding along their way to excellence.”

The hands-on DNA lab was the conclusion of a one-month long DNA unit in Gillard’s SOAR Class. Students in Andria Shook’s SOAR class and one student from Shelly Record’s SOAR class participated in the lab as well.

Riverside_SOAR_4This article was written by Bohanon Meadors, a junior in the Plymouth High School Career Marketing class. Photos were captured by Yessica Renteria, a senior in the Plymouth High School Career Marketing class.