School students learn how to extract DNA from kiwifruit at Waikato Biology Days

More than 650 Kiwi kids examined the contents of around 100 kiwifruit this week during the University of Waikato’s annual Waikato Experience Biology Days.

A media statement from the university (here) says the Year 12 and 13 secondary school students from around the central North Island spent time in the biological sciences laboratories from 5-6 June, learning the skill of extracting DNA from kiwifruit.

Extracting the DNA involved peeling, chopping, mashing, incubating and sieving kiwifruit, before pouring ice-cold alcohol over the sample and hooking out the DNA.

The students also attended lectures given by Waikato University academics on topics such as DNA technologies, plant responses to the environment and animal behaviour, human evolution, and the process of evolution.

Trident High School biology teacher Phil Andrew said this was the fourth time he had brought a class to the event.

His group of Year 13 students travelled from Whakatane for the day to extend their knowledge in areas of biology relevant to the school curriculum.

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