Saturday DNA! Sessions

Saturday DNA! is on summer hiatus. Please check in the fall for new sessions!

In the meantime, stop by our DNALC Summer Camp site to learn about our camps for students entering grades 6 through 12! Have a great summer!

Add some DNA to your day . . .

Come to the science scene on Saturdays! Join us for exciting, Saturday DNA! sessions!

  • One session is offered for each Saturday scheduled monthly during the academic year. Some sessions are for ages 10-13, with a chaperone required, others are for ages 14 to adult, with a chaperone required for participants under age 15.
  • Chaperones register, pay, and fully participate in program activities.
  • All sessions are two hours long: 10:00 am – noon.
  • Sessions are $22.00 per person, per session ($44.00 per session for a participating student and accompanying chaperone) plus the Eventbrite registration fee.
  • The sessions are held at the Dolan DNA Learning Center at 334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724.

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.
  • Seats for each session are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The name and phone number of each ticket purchaser and/or chaperone and the name and age of each minor registrant must be included on your Eventbrite registration. We will not honor reservations without this information; in this case your reservation will be cancelled and your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Chaperones must be 18 or older.
  • Once you are registered and payment is made, you will receive an email which will include your entry ticket.

Saturday, June 1, 2019 (Session Closed)

Dust Away Crime: The Truth About Fingerprints

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.

Participants will:

  • analyze your own unique fingerprints;
  • learn how to dust for prints;
  • attempt to match "suspect" prints to “evidence”.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, May 11, 2019 (Session Closed)

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The father of genetics, Gregor Mendel, worked with pea plants in the 1800’s to observe and understand the laws of inheritance. Join us to explore his findings, use microscopes to view key plant structures that Gregor Mendel manipulated in his experiments, and create nutrient rich wildflower seed bombs to take home and plant!

Participants will:

  • learn about different pollination methods;
  • use microscopes to make observations of plant cells, pollen and other structures;
  • create "seed bombs" to take home and promote wildflower growth for bees..

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, April 13, 2019 (Session Closed)

WiSE Presents: Get to Know GMOs!

Hosted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)

At CSHL, plant biologists study the development and genetic makeup of various crop plants such as corn, wheat, and sorghum. Alongside CSHL scientists, children will perform DNA isolations and test some common foods for presence of genetic modifications.

While the kids have fun in the lab, adult chaperones are invited to a keynote presentation by Doreen Ware, Ph.D. on the topic of GMOs and plant biology, along with a panel discussion featuring WiSE students and researchers of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Participants will:

  • learn about the purpose of genetic engineering in plants;
  • extract DNA from fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • use gel electrophoresis to analyze prepared food samples for markers of genetic modification

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone
  • Hosted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)
  • Half of the proceeds from this event will support the CSHL WiSE mission to create educational opportunities for young women in STEM by organizing hands-on events connecting the WiSE network of scientists with the community.

Saturday, March 16, 2019 (Session Closed)

Ancient Ancestry

Mitochondrial DNA is a useful tool in the study of ancient human lineages. Not only does this DNA show us how and when humans populated the continents, it also sheds light on the relatedness of all humans and the illusion of race. Join us to see how DNA can be used to explore the landscape of human origins

Participants will:

  • use computers to compare mitochondrial DNA from different people from around the world;
  • explore how mitochondrial DNA variations can be used to determine human relatedness;<
  • determine when and where the modern human lineage originated.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 14-adult, chaperone required for students under 15
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, February 9, 2019 (Session Closed)

BioArt

Techniques used by scientists to study DNA can also be used to make art! Join us to create a Valentine’s Day heart out of DNA, and to observe the inherent connection between science and art.

Participants will:

  • manipulate DNA with restriction enzymes;
  • observe how electrophoresis can be used to separate DNA fragments by size;
  • create a unique piece of heart-shaped DNA "art."

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10–13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, January 19, 2019 (Session Closed)

Enzymes in Action

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze, or speed up, chemical reactions in cells. They are sometimes used industrially to catalyze chemical reactions that produce common foods such as cheese, juice, and lactose-free milk! Join us to explore the enzymatic secrets of some of our favorite foods.

Participants will:

  • use enzymes to make common foods;
  • observe how enzymes catalyze chemical reactions;
  • explore factors that affect the efficiency of enzymes in action.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, December 8, 2018 (Session Closed)

Build-A-Creature

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.

Participants will:

  • learn about Gregor Mendel’s classic experiments with pea plants;
  • use Punnett squares to predict outcomes of genetic crosses;
  • build an imaginary creature with unique genetic traits following Mendel’s laws.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10–13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, November 10, 2018 (Session Closed)

The Transforming Principle

In 1928, Dr. Frederick Griffith discovered that genetic material can be transferred from one bacterial cell to another, transforming the recipient cell’s traits. He called the genetic material a “transforming principle,” but didn't know what substance caused the change he observed. By the 1940’s, it was established that the genetic material is DNA. Now, scientists routinely use DNA to engineer bacteria and other many other organisms so they acquire many different traits!

Participants will:

Participants will:

  • isolate DNA from a strand of harmless, antibiotic resistant bacteria;
  • introduce the DNA to non-resistant bacteria and determine if transformation occurred;
  • learn about genetic engineering techniques that allow scientists to put other types of DNA into bacteria cells.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 14-adult, chaperone required for students under 15
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, October 13, 2018 (Session Closed)

The Magic of Microscopes

Our world is full of living diversity. Some of it is visible and much more is too small to see with the naked eye. Join us to explore the visible and tiny, invisible life that surrounds us. Using both compound and stereo microscopes, you will study samples you collect and samples of microscopic life collected by the instructor. What you find may surprise you!

Participants will:

Participants will:

  • collect samples from the local environment;
  • learn how and when to use different types of microscopes;
  • carefully examine samples and record observations.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10–13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, June 2, 2018 (Session Closed)

Got Lactase?

Over 60% of humans worldwide are lactose intolerant. In humans, lactose intolerance is considered an ancestral trait because mammals usually stop producing the digestive enzyme after weaning off their mothers’ milk. Does this happen in humans too? Why, then, are some humans able to continue drinking milk after infancy? Join us to better understand the very interesting story of how a combination of genetics and culture has affected our evolution.

Participants will:

  • Discuss the details of lactose intolerance, and how it affects different populations;
  • Use enzymes to digest lactose;
  • Investigate the lactose levels of different dairy products.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, May 12, 2018 (Session Closed)

Molecular Detectives

DNA restriction analysis is at the heart of recombinant DNA technology. The ability to cut DNA predictably and precisely lets scientists manipulate DNA molecules at will. This activity introduces DNA analysis through DNA digestion with restriction enzymes and agarose gel electrophoresis. Join us to try the techniques and attempt to explain a “mystery” sample’s interesting result!

Participants will:

  • Learn the basic principles of restriction digestion and gel electrophoresis;
  • Make an agarose gel and electrophorese samples of digested DNA;
  • Analyze and interpret results to determine the cause of the “mystery” result.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 14 – adult, chaperone required for students under 15
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone

Saturday, April 21, 2018 (Session Closed)

Enzyme Explosion

The human genome is comprised of over 20,000 genes. Most genes are like molecular recipes, with coded instructions for creating proteins. Come learn how cells use genetic instructions to create thousands of different proteins. Perform an experiment that demonstrates how we can harness the catalytic power of a hard-working class of proteins called enzymes in industry.

Participants will:

  • Explore proteins and their many functions;
  • Observe chemical reactions catalyzed by enzymes;
  • Use enzymes to produce some common foods.

Details:

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ages 10 – 13, chaperone required
  • $22 per student, $22 per chaperone