Arizona Cancer Evolution Center (ACE)

Fun in the DISCOVERoom with ACE

ACE team members were delighted to work with the lunchtime science club in the DISCOVERoom at Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School in Phoenix before the leadup to their summer holidays.  The DISCOVERoom is a wonderful resource for the kids; it is coordinated by Jenniffer Jarvis and Marni Anbar, run by parents and volunteers, and children choose to attend and get involved with whatever fun on offer.

 

Making cells from play-doh and goo

We spent 4 days over two weeks at the school introducing kids from kindergarten to 5th grade to concepts in life science.  The first week we explained the cell and its components and then set the kids loose to build them. It was a hands-on activity using slime and play-doh.

We provided all the materials to ensure that all the children could participate individually and get the most out of the activities.

 

 

 

Learning about the components of cells

They really enjoyed making their cells and went on to talk about the different elements.  Many begged to take their creations home. Not possible we explained – they wouldn’t survive! Others wanted the recipe for slime so they could recreate the task at home, so we told them to ask their parents to check the web where they would find many cheap and simple recipes using common ingredients.

ACE volunteer Seema Plaisier explains how cells work

The children asked very perceptive questions and it was wonderful to see how engaged they were!

Then the following week, we were extracting DNA from strawberries, squishing the fruit and measuring a soap solution.  It’s an activity that appeals to all ages!

We guided the children as they squeezed strawberries and mixed the pulp with simple chemicals (harmless to the skin) and filtered the solution into a clear plastic jug.

Then magic!  DNA us collected on a stick!

 

 

Strawberry DNA clumped on sticks

With their understanding of cells from the previous week, the children were able to identify where the DNA actually came from. 

We can honestly say that we enjoyed the activities as much as the children, but I have to admit it was certainly a busy experience for the ACE team! 

Hats off to their teachers who do a magnificent job every day stimulating these bright young minds!