Students celebrated National DNA Day by making DNA candy helixes. National DNA Day is a holiday celebrated on April 25. It commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA. National DNA Day also commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003.
This tasty activity helped students explore the shape and structure of DNA. Four colors of gummy sweets represent the four bases that make up DNA. Using the toothpicks they paired the bases and used licorice to make up the ladder-like shape of the DNA helix. If you’d like to learn how to do this at home, click on this article by The Guardian, “How to make a DNA double helix from jelly babies and liquorice.”