DNA DAY 2016
DNA Day is a free public education event held annually in partnership with Miami Science Museum in honor of National DNA Day. National DNA Day began in April of 2003 and is a celebration of the completion of the Human Genome in 2003 as well as the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. Over 100 volunteers from the John P. Hussman Institute (HIHG), local universities and local high schools contribute their knowledge of genetics and DNA to the next generation of scientists.
The HIHG team has developed 11 hands-on exhibits and activities, each showcasing a unique feature of DNA and genetics. Children ages 4-15 will be able to pin their unique physical genetic traits on a “gene tree”, solve a simulated crime mystery using DNA evidence and even extract DNA from their own saliva to make a DNA necklace! Those who complete all of the activities will receive a small gift when they present their DNA Day “passport” at the checkout booth. Members of the Boy and Girl Scouts can get a limited-edition activity patch for attending the event.
In addition to the various local celebrations like that at the Miami Science Museum, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) provides online events and a variety of free, educational tools on genetics and genomics. The NHGRI hosts the annual DNA Day Online Chatroom during the month of April. Classrooms or individuals can submit questions online about everything from DNA basics to the future of genomic medicine to experts who will respond in real time. Teachers who are interested in registering their classroom should visit the NHGRI DNA Day Web page (www.genome.gov/DNAday).
Past DNA Day activities have been sponsored by the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, The Miami Science Museum, The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation, Papa John’s Pizza, Qiagen, Starbucks, VWR and Eppendorf.
Plans for DNA Day 2016 at the new Miami Science Museum are underway.