Imperial College London

Inspiring pupils with DNA at The Schools Challenge


A pupil is excited by DNA extraction

The Vilar, Kuimova and DiAntonio groups attended The Schools Challenge to inspire almost 200 children with their research on DNA.

Pupils were invited to take part in an activity run by members of the research groups where they extracted DNA from strawberries. After mashing strawberries and adding an extraction solution, the DNA can be picked up using a toothpick and seen with the naked eye. The pupils then saw how a fluorescent dye could stain the DNA, allowing it to be better seen under a UV light.

The activity demonstrated some of the DNA work carried out by both groups using fluorescent dyes to visualise DNA structures. Pupils took part in this activity amongst others in a STEM marketplace encouraging them to consider a future in science after school.

The pupils were taking part in The Schools Challenge run by Imperial College London and JP Morgan. Almost 200 pupils from 12 schools participated in the event at the Science Museum. The main event saw each team trying to solve a challenge set for them by the Mayor of London's office.


Ben Lewis

Ben Lewis
Department of Surgery & Cancer

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