Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The DNA Model Project

Last evening my oldest son started working on a project for his 9th grade biology class, the project involved creating a 3D model of a strand of DNA. The original concept was to create the model with toothpicks and marshmallows and it became apparent that those materials would only result in an unstable sticky mess. A second plan was developed based on materials we had on hand; craft sticks, utility wire, foam sheets and hot glue. The project came together quickly and the end result was clean, colorful and neat.

Over the years I have helped my boys with many school projects, something I enjoy and consider one of the rewards of parenthood. Anyway, for the past several years I have had the idea in the back of my mind that papier mache would be a great medium to create educational and museum models such as huge molecules, cells, organs and even life sized skeletons. Imagine a full scale Triceratops made from mache, it’s enough to give me chills.

Maybe this year I will make time to create a few educational pieces, if nothing else they would make a nice donation to the science department of our public schools.

Just thinking.



8 comments:

MarZel said...

I think the double helix is beautiful and has quite potential!! Say, Mr. Stolloween I sent you an email asking if I could reprint one of your tutorials in our newsletter with credit and links of course... I was wondering if we could use the Kitty clay? Would you let me know if you are open to this??? Thanks so much for your time and what you share on your blog!!!

STOLLOWEEN said...

By all means feel free to use reprint the blog post...the information here is meant to benefit everyone.

Anonymous said...

Papier mache was a really widely used technique to create anatomic and scientific models in the 19thC--check out http://americanhistory.si.edu/anatomy/index.html, among other sites.

Debbie said...

My first adventure with making school projects was a plaster of paris volcano, It spewed (fake) lava when it was lit with real flames. it was grade 6. The thing weighed a ton and my dad had to carry it to class for me. Paaper mache is so much less weight, and I'm still playing around.

Connor Schultz said...

I have to do the same project and was wondering if you would post the key that you used for the parts compared to the parts in DNA
Thanks!

STOLLOWEEN said...

Sorry, I don't have the key for the part of the model....this was done quite a few years ago and my son labeled the parts of the model.

Anonymous said...

Hello!
This is absolutely stunning. I'm trying to help my daughter build her own, and was wondering if you had any instructions? And also, what did you secure the model on?

Thanks very much :)

Anonymous said...

Hello!
This is absolutely stunning. I'm trying to help my daughter build her own, and was wondering if you had any instructions? And also, what did you secure the model on?

Thanks very much :)

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