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Ms. Ainsworth from Pflugerville TX is requesting Lab Equipment through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Modeling DNA

My students need hands-on models and manipulatives to be able to visualize DNA and the processes of transcription and translation.

  • $253 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our high school is in a formerly rural community just outside of Austin, TX. The area has seen a lot of growth in recent years which has led to some growing pains. We have a very diverse student population and are designated as Title 1, which means we have a large percentage of students from low-income homes as well as many that are learning English.

That often means the students have not had much access to the natural world to be able to tie it into their learning.

Often, people need a hands-on, or at least eyes-on, experience to relate their learning to their lives. Many of these students have had limited opportunities to visit zoos, parks, and museums. Field trips are expensive and can take time away from their other courses.

My Project

DNA is such a tiny yet important part of life. I have used various methods to make it "real" to my students but they have all fallen short. I have requested 2 different DNA models to use for explanation and a model kit so students can build models themselves.

Students need a 3-D model to visualize the shape of the double helix; describing a twisted ladder is not enough.

My pipe-cleaner DNA is helpful but nowhere near large or detailed enough. I selected two larger models. The first is an accurate model of the molecules and will be excellent for DNA structure lessons. The other model will "unzip" to show the students how DNA opens for transcription and translation. So one is more detailed but the other is more manipulative.

Students need to be able to manipulate the DNA themselves as well. The kit will allow each student to make a DNA strand in class. Previously I have tried paper and computer simulations. Paper ends up being too simplistic and simulations don't feel real to them.

These models and manipulatives will bring DNA to life for the students, providing a tactile and visual aspect to their learning of a complex idea.

Ms. Ainsworth
Grades 9-12
More than half of students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latino, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

This project will reach 140 students.

3 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
MODEL PLASTIC DNA • Frey Scientific $65.96 1 $65.96
KIT INQ INV DNA STRUCTURE + REPLICATION • Frey Scientific $64.95 1 $64.95
12 LAYER ADVANCED MINI DNA • Frey Scientific $32.12 1 $32.12

Materials cost


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Sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


1 Donor


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