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The Great American Teach In 2019

Written by Makenzie Kerr, Breitbart Lab Manager & Outreach Coordinator

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The “Great American Teach In” is a fun opportunity for community members to talk to kids about their careers and the experiences they had to get to where they are in their field. Participating in the Great American Teach In this year was extra special to me, because I went to my aunt’s school. My aunt is a PE teacher at Walsingham Elementary School and all the kids absolutely love her!

1st graders fishing for their eggs.
1st graders fishing for their eggs.

I spent all day working with 1st to 5th graders. They were “DNA detectives” for the day, learning about how DNA can be used to identify fish eggs with a fun, interactive activity. The activity started with fishing for an egg in a pool filled with marine animals, breaking it open to release the DNA (a strand of colored beads), and decoding the beads to DNA letters (which, for those who forget, are A, T, C, and G). This code matched to a unique fish species sequence. When the students identified their matching fish, they received a coloring page and fact about that species. It was great to see all the different ages enjoying the same activity and learning at the same level.

I love sharing my passion for the ocean and all of the animals that live in it – and wonder where the next “Great American Teach In” will take me.

Makenzie Kerr helping the students decipher their DNA beads into DNA code.
Makenzie Kerr helping the students decipher their DNA beads into DNA code.
Tricia Burrows (Makenzie's aunt) and Makenzie Kerr with a first grade class. They are holding up the fish coloring pages they got by deciphering which fish their egg was from.
Tricia Burrows (Makenzie’s aunt) and Makenzie Kerr with a first grade class. They are holding up the fish coloring pages they got by deciphering which fish their egg was from.
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