Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Genetics & DNA

Genetics & DNA

Spring 2009 Toys
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $34.95
Genetics & DNA is a science experiment kit that examines the heredity and variation of organisms. It includes an exceptional experiment manual and most materials necessary (denatured alcohol and some common household products are also needed) to conduct 20 meaningful investigations on DNA, inheritance, dominant and recessive genes, composition of cells, and analyzing DNA evidence.

The 48-page manual starts with extensive safety notes for adults and provides useful tips for handling materials in the kit. Experimental procedures are well written and an abundance of illustrations, diagrams, tables, and photographs can be found on every page of the book. Following many experiments are "i", for info sections that explain what happened in the experiment, give thoughtful questions on the procedures or outcomes, or provide a bit of history on the featured subject matter. Answers to periodic questions and brainteasers are "scramble" printed and require red decoder film to reveal the answers. Not only is it fun to expose the answer, the quick check for correct answer provides positive reinforcement to the student.

The first four experiments (really four phases of the same experiment) were totally amazing. We actually isolated and extracted DNA from chopped tomatoes. How simple it seemed to pull DNA threads, the very basis of heredity, out of a test tube.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos
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