Science Club Week 1

Last week saw our first “Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf Science Club” of this term.

There was a great turn out with over 30 budding scientists in attendance on Wednesday afternoon.

Each week we learn about each of the three main branches of science; Physics, Chemistry and Biology, as well as conducting our own experiment.

Week 1:

Science Week 1

Scientist of the Week: Friedrich Miescher; who was the original founder of DNA in 1869, although he named it ‘nuclein’.

Element of the Week: Copernicium; a very radio-active element named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus

Animal of the Week: Warty Frog-fish; related to the angler-fish, it looks like it has warts all over its body. It does not swim as it does not have a swim bladder but it has adapted its pectoral (side) fins to use like legs!

Constellation of the Week: Aries; named after the ram with the golden fleece in Greek mythology

Experiment of the Week: Extracting DNA from a kiwi fruit


Our procedure:

Crushing the kiwi flesh
Scooping out the kiwi flesh

<<Step 1:  We scooped the flesh of a kiwi into a zip-lock bag  and made sure there was no air in the bag.


>Step 2: The kiwi flesh was smashed into a green, seedy mush.



Our buffer solution

<<Step 3: A buffer solution was made by adding some salt and washing up liquid  to half a cup of water. We had to dissolve the salt in the solution but we had to be careful to stir this very, very slowly as we did not want bubbles to form.


Buffer solution and kiwi flesh

>>Step 4: Half of the buffer solution was added to the kiwi flesh in the zip-lock bag. This was mixed thoroughly.





Filtering the mixture

<<Step 5: We left the zip-lock bag rest for 10 minutes. Then we filtered the liquid from the solids using a

coffee filter and a jar.



Carefully adding the methylated spirits

>>Step 6: This part must be carried out by an adult! Ms Hickey poured a small amount of methylated spirits down the side of the jar into the filtered solution

<<Step 7: The solution was then stirred carefully. A purple layer formed on top of a the green liquid.



Result:The alcohol from the methylated spirits dehydrates the DNA making it clump together and visible to us. You can see it in the bottom two photographs.


The DNA we extracted from kiwi fruit!


As Archimedes once famously said “Eureka!!!”

Until next time Science Clubbers 🙂