STEM In Schools Reach New Level with DNA Sequencing Brought to 7th Graders

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In New York, 12 and 13 year olds get to try their hand at DNA sequencing during science class for the first time thanks to startup PlayDNA. PlayDNA is working with a curriculum expert to ensure teachers don’t need to be a genetics expert to help students explore the topic with PlayDNA’s small DNA sequencer. The pilot project started with a private school in Manhatten and plans on expanding to offer study units to middle and high schools across the U.S. The kit will include everything that teachers and students need for DNA sequencing including the curriculum, all required equipment and software for data analysis. The company was founded by a postdoctoral fellow at the New York Genome Center and her advisor, an assistant professor of genomics and computer science at Columbia University, in order to expand access to DNA technology beyond science laboratories and into the hands of future generations.