Wide view of four students in a DNALC lab classroom using micropipets.

Saturday DNA! Sessions

Add some DNA to your day!

Join us for exciting new Saturday DNA! sessions!
Eventbrite is used for Saturday DNA! registration and payment.

  • All seats in every session must be reserved using Eventbrite. We do not accept walk-ins.
  • Sessions are $24.00 per person, per session plus Eventbrite registration fee.
  • All sessions are two hours long: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. OR 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • The sessions are held at Cold Spring Harbor, Brooklyn, and Sleepy Hollow. Please check the location when registering for sessions.
    • Dolan DNA Learning Center at 334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
    • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech at 62 Tillary Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201*
    • Regeneron DNA Learning Center at 1 Rockwood Road, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
  • The name and email address of each ticket purchaser must be included on your Eventbrite registration. We will not honor reservations that fail to provide this information. If you do not provide this information, your reservation will be cancelled and your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Seats for each session are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A chaperone 18 or older required for students under 13. Chaperones must purchase tickets and fully participate in all activities.
  • Face masks are optional.

* DNALC NYC at City Tech only: Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, City Tech policy is that all visitors 18 or older must show proof of full vaccination (defined as two weeks after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccine) in order to enter the building. Adults who are not fully vaccinated must have a negative COVID PCR test performed within 7 days of the event date in order to attend—no exceptions will be made. COVID documentation, along with a photo ID, must be shown to City Tech Security when you arrive.

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Butterfly Secrets

icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center

In-person @ Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–Adult, with one adult chaperone required for students under 15

Join us to learn the fascinating facts behind butterflies!

What do you know about butterflies? They are good pollinators, beautiful, and calming to some. Surprisingly, there are over 17,000 different species of these flying insects found across the globe! They have traits to confuse their predators, special relationships with specific plants, and sometimes migrate thousands of miles to breed. Despite all of these interesting differences, they can all be grouped into just six taxonomic families. Come and explore some of the characteristics of these fascinating insects, and try your hand at classifying them.

Participants will:

  • learn butterfly basics, including anatomy;
  • compare different families of butterflies; and
  • classify butterfly groups in a hands-on activity.

Details:

  • Saturday, December 10, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–Adult
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

Image of a black swallowtail butterfly on zinnia flower

Saturday, December 10, 2022

A Royal Ruse

circular icon with drawing of the Regeneron DNA Learning Center

In-person @ Sleepy Hollow, NY
Regeneron DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13, with one adult chaperone 18 or older required

Join us to puzzle out the answers to a century-old royal mystery!

Many stories have been told about the Romanovs, the last Royal Family of Russia. In 1918, when the Romanovs went missing, there were rumors that the family was murdered. Yet in 1920, a woman resurfaced in Germany claiming to be Princess Anastasia. What evidence did she have? Could she be lying? Did anyone believe her? Join us and uncover answers to The Mystery of Anastasia!

In this session, participants will:

  • perform a computer-based lab;
  • collect and analyze forensic evidence; and
  • compare DNA sequences to determine the mystery woman’s identity.

Details:

  • Saturday, December 10, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Regeneron DNALC
    1 Rockwood Road Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
  • Directions

Register on Eventbrite

black and white photo of seven members of the Romanov family

Past Event

Mystery of Anastasia (Cancelled)

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–13, no adult chaperone required

Join us to puzzle out the answers to a century-old royal mystery!

Many stories have been told about the Romanovs, the last Royal Family of Russia. In 1918, when the Romanovs went missing, there were rumors that the family was murdered. Yet in 1920, a woman resurfaced in Germany claiming to be Princess Anastasia. What evidence did she have? Could she be lying? Did anyone believe her? Join us and uncover answers to The Mystery of Anastasia!

In this session, participants will:

  • perform a computer-based lab;
  • collect and analyze forensic evidence; and
  • compare DNA sequences to determine the mystery woman’s identity.

Details:

  • Saturday, November 19, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions
black and white photo of seven members of the Romanov family

Agar Art

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–Adult, with one adult chaperone required for students under 13

In this hands-on workshop, participants will create artistic masterpieces with glowing bacteria.

Traditional laboratory techniques utilized by scientists to study the world on both a macroscopic and microscopic scale can also be used to create unique works of art. Participants will learn multiple techniques to create unique “paintings” with harmless microbes that express colorful proteins as pigment. A link will be sent to all participants the week after class with their artistic results.

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) hosts an annual Agar Art contest. The theme this year is “Your Favorite Microbiologist”. If you want to enter the Agar Art contest, we recommend bringing pictures or drawings of your favorite microbiologist to use as a guide.

In this session, participants will:

  • learn how bacteria can be engineered to produce different fluorescent proteins;
  • create agar art using genetically engineered bacteria; and
  • have the chance to submit art to the ASM Agar Art contest.

Details:

  • Saturday, October 15, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Appropriate for ages 10–adult
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions
Petri dish with glow in the dark bacteria for agar art with DNALC NYC and sketch of a DNA double heli

Dust Away Crime: The Truth About Fingerprints

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center

In-person @ Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13, with one adult chaperone 18 or older required

For over a century, fingerprints have been used in criminal investigations. Because an individual’s fingerprints are unique, they can be used to link a suspect to a crime. Join us to learn about the many ways criminologists use fingerprints and try some modern techniques for fingerprint collection and analysis.

In this session, participants will:

  • complete an FBI-style fingerprinting ID card;
  • analyze your own unique fingerprints; and
  • learn how to dust for prints.

Details:

  • Saturday, October 22, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions
handprint

Cancer Cells Under the Scope

 circular  icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 13–18

Did you know that some cells are considered to be “immortal”? The first immortal human cells to be grown in a lab were HeLa cells, a cancer cell line taken from a woman named Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or permission. Join us to discuss the story of Henrietta Lacks, how her cells have shaped cancer research, and the importance of ethics in biomedical research. We will also look at chromosomes from cancer cells under a microscope and learn about karyotyping and how karyotypes can be used to detect chromosomal abnormalities.

In this session, participants will:

  • Look at human chromosome spreads under a microscope;
  • simulate human karyotyping using chromosome models; and
  • discuss the story of Henrietta Lacks and the importance of ethics in biomedical research.

*Scholarships: Scholarships are available upon request for students with a financial need and students who are Underrepresented Minorities (URM) in STEM—defined by the National Science Foundation as Black or African American; American Indian or Native Alaskan; Hispanic or Latino; and Native Pacific Islander. To request a scholarship, please email dnalc@ cshl.edu with the student’s name and why you are requesting a scholarship (financial need and/or URM in STEM).

Details:

  • Saturday, October 22, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Appropriate for ages 13–18
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions
fabric chromosomes craft

Jack-o'-lantern Genetics

circular icon with drawing of the Regeneron DNA Learning Center

In-person @ Sleepy Hollow, NY
Regeneron DNA Learning Center

Ages 10–13, with one adult chaperone 18 or older required

Learn how Mendel's laws can make a fright-tastic jack-o'-lantern for Halloween fun!

In the 1800’s Gregor Mendel, the “Father of Genetics”, used plants to show how traits were passed from one generation to the next. Mendel’s observed laws of inheritance explain how some genetic diseases and traits are inherited, how children can have different traits from their parents, and why some traits can “skip” generations.

In this session, participants will:

  • learn about Gregor Mendel’s classic experiments with pea plants;
  • use Punnett squares to predict outcomes of genetic crosses; and
  • build and design a jack-o'-lantern with unique genetic traits following Mendel’s laws.

Details:

  • Saturday, October 22, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Regeneron DNALC
    1 Rockwood Road Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
  • Directions
three pumpkins on hay bale

Halloween at the DNA Learning Center NYC

Join us for a Halloween-themed morning of science!

Ages 10–13 session

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–13, no adult chaperone required

Join us to do hands-on science experiments with a Halloween theme. Costumes are welcome!

What is DNA and where is it stored in a cell? We will extract DNA from pumpkins. We will then make candy models of DNA and learn how DNA mutations can lead to mutant creatures.

In this activity, you will:

  • Learn how to extract DNA from cells;
  • create a model of DNA from candy; and
  • observe mutant fruit flies (D. melanogaster) and roundworms (C. elegans).

Ages 13–16 session (Cancelled)

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 13–16 session

Join us to do hands-on science experiments with a Halloween theme. Costumes are welcome!

To identify species of plants and their relationships to each other, we can use a technique called DNA barcoding. To learn about the principles of DNA barcoding, with a spooky twist, we will learn how to extract DNA from pumpkins. We will then learn how to classify organisms based on shared traits and DNA relationships, modeling phylogenetic trees using candy bars.

In this activity, you will:

  • Learn how to extract DNA from plant cells;
  • learn about evolutionary relationships between species; and
  • build a phylogenetic tree using traits of candy bars.

Details:

  • Saturday, October 29, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT
  • 2 sessions: Ages 10–13 and Ages 13–16
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions
DNA double-helix model made from Twizzlers and Haribo Goldbear candy
phylogenetics tree schematic using candy bars

The Hominin Family Tree

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center

In-person @ Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Dolan DNA Learning Center

Ages 13–Adult, with one adult chaperone required for students under 15

Join us to learn how the fossil record and ancient DNA evidence help us answer the question: Where do we come from?

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was just awarded to geneticist and evolutionary anthropologist Svante Pääbo for the study of extinct human ancestors. Hominins are the group consisting of humans and all of the now extinct relatives in the lineage that led to Homo sapiens after splitting off from our common ancestor with other primates. Much of what we understand about evolutionary relationships among our early human ancestors comes from their fossils. Join us to learn about the how scientists like Dr. Pääbo combine findings from the fossil record and ancient DNA evidence to address the age-old question, "where do we come from?"

In this activity, participants will:

  • examine a series of traits on skull casts of ancient human ancestors;
  • explore the evolutionary relationships among early human ancestors using fossil and genetic evidence; and
  • create a hominin family tree using compiled class results.

Details:

  • Saturday, November 12, 2022
  • 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 13–Adult
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • Dolan DNA Learning Center
    334 Main St, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
  • Directions
ancient human timeline with species skulls from Our Human Inheritance Exhibition at DNA Learning Center

Compare Yourself to a Plant!

circular icon with drawing of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

In-person @ Brooklyn, NY
DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech

Ages 10–13, no adult chaperone required

Use microscopes to learn how you compare to a plant!

Ever wonder how your own cells differ from a plant cell? Join us to find out! In this activity you will:

  • Learn how to make slides with your own cheek cells and plant cells;
  • stain the cells and visualize under a microscope;
  • compare and contrast animal and plant cells; and
  • look at living organisms from the East River or Prospect Park Lake, if time allows.

Details:

  • Saturday, November 12, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST
  • Appropriate for ages 10–13
  • $24 per student plus Eventbrite fee
  • DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech
    62 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Directions
Microscope images of cells