Author: Yiqing Liang
The 31st of July marked the first HacKIDemia workshop in China, hosted by Beijing Makerspace. The topic of this workshop is “DNA extraction from fruits”. In the workshop Yiqing first presented the organization itself to the Chinese audience. She began the exploration of the scientific grounds of this workshop with a story that tells how Mendel discovered the function of dominant and recessive genes that led to the beginning of a whole new science subject – gene study. Then she explained a few concepts related to DNA: chromosome, gene, body cell and DNA itself, followed by a demonstration of how to extract DNA from banana. Finally everybody got their first hands-on experience of DNA extraction.
The workshop had a group of mix-audience: some of them are regular visitors to the Makerspace, some of them came specifically for the “DNA extraction” experiments, and some of them wanted to learn about child STEM education from HacKIDemia.
When exploring the concept of DNA, interestingly, you will find five types of ordinary atoms that exist everywhere in the nature: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus. Therefore, Yiqing shared a quote with the audience: “we are all recycled stardust”, because we are made of no more than ordinary materials that exist in the nature. In other words, we come from the nature and we will return to the nature.
The workshop received amazing enthusiasm and overwhelming positive feedback from the audience, indicating many more fun scientific-exploration workshops in the near future.