The DNA Learning Center was the executive producer of this $1.8 million project, and coordinated contributions from producers and designers in the United Kingdom and Australia – Windfall Films, The Red Green & Blue Company Ltd., The Mill, and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. The Internet site is part of a larger DNA project developed by an international collaboration of scientists, educators, and filmmakers. Other DNA products include a five-part TV series that aired on PBS in 2004; DNA: the Secret of Life book co-authored by Nobel Laureate James D. Watson; a half-hour video for museums and science centers; and DVDs of the television series and DNAi teacher resources.
Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), DNAi comprises six major topic areas: Timeline, Code, Manipulation, Genome, Applications, and Chronicle. The topics were serially released over a five-month period in 2003, and by year's end, DNAi received 377,000 visits - making it our fastest growing release to date. The topic areas (with the exception of Timeline) loosely follow the DNA: The Secret of Life television series. Within the topics, the media elements (video, animations, photos, and text) are packaged into modules, sections, and sub-sections that tell specific stories about DNA science. DNAi includes more than five hours of video footage drawn from extensive interviews with more than 70 scientists (including 11 Nobel Laureates). More than 150 animations illuminate key experiments in the history of DNA and bring to life the molecular processes that govern DNA replication and expression.
Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), myDNAi was designed to help educators make the most of the content on the companion site, DNA Interactive. Released in November 2003, myDNAi is a package of classroom resources and tools that allow teachers to create their own materials. Working closely with expert Teacher Fellows, we developed 15 lesson plans that include: objectives, correlations to National Science Education Standards, student worksheets, preparation notes, and supplemental materials. The customized DNAi experience begins with registration and the creation of a myDNAi homepage. This easy to edit page includes a greeting, access to DNAi lesson plans, and Internet links. The customized homepage is stored on the DNALC server and is accessed by a unique URL.
myDNAi is also the access point for Lesson Builder, our unique editor that allows teachers to build custom lessons from more than 1,200 multimedia objects (video, animations, photos, transcripts, text) used to construct the DNAi Internet site. A keyword search looks for matches among more than 30 metadata fields that describe each object. Then, using a simple "drag-and-drop" editor, the teacher selects and organizes the multimedia objects into a lesson. Each teacher lesson is then saved on the DNALC server and accessed by students using a unique URL associated with the teacher's profile. A lesson can be modified and saved in different versions for use in different classes.