Strawberry DNA Extraction

DNA Extraction process explained here!

In this lab activity, DNA is extracted from strawberries which allows students to see the DNA they isolate. DNA extraction is a fundamental procedure used in many types of experiments. This introductory lesson helps prepare students for more advanced labs that may call for DNA extraction. Strawberries are used because they are accessible and very easy to squish and break down, as they contain cellulase and pectinase. Students also may wish to repeat this experiment with samples of interest, such as different fruit.

In the online version of this lesson, students have the opportunity to perform the lab using common household items and/or watch a video of a student performing the lab and analyze various images of results.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how to extract DNA from living organisms and the scientific reasoning for using the materials involved.
  • Practice reading and following a basic lab protocol.

Prior Knowledge

  • Observe plant cells under microscope and identify the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus
  • The nucleus is surrounded by the nuclear membrane (envelope), which contains DNA molecules
  • DNA molecules code for proteins which carry out most of the work of cells
  • Review role of organelles in eukaryotic organisms

Lesson Resources

BABEC Lesson Resources are created and intended for use in Google Suite:
1. Download the resource as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint
2. Upload to your Google Drive
3. Open the resource as a Google Doc or Slides
4. Customize to fit your class

Please check out all the videos we have for this lab here

Lab Resources

The Lab Resources below are designed to ensure a straightforward, smooth lab experience in your classroom, and include a Student Protocol, Inventory Guide, and Preparing the Classroom for the Lab document.

Supplemental Resources

Online Resources

The Lesson Resources* below provide a digital-only substitute for our hands-on lab. They include the same rich learning experience as the traditional lab, with the addition of videos of a student performing the lab and sample results for students to analyze.

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

LS1.A – Structure and Function “All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules”

Science and Engineering Practices:

Constructing Explanations

Crosscutting Concepts:

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

Amanda Cherry
Paradise Valley HS
Phoenix, AZ

The curriculum materials are beautifully prepared and easy to understand-thanks for preparing such great resources that are easy to use.

Byron Gougoumis
Burton HS
San Francisco, CA

All Babec labs are well organised and modelled effectively with clear, helpful procedural instructions, easily transposed to the classroom.

Gianne Souza
Lincoln HS
San Francisco, CA

The online resources are SO well done! The best I have ever had. Very little modification to make them clear and easy to follow. I have done two BABEC lessons and they are so well made that they made teaching online fun again.

Heather Johnson
Burlingame HS
Burlingame, CA

When doing the BABEC labs I consistently hear students say they feel like "real scientists."

Marianne Gudmundsson
Glenbrook South HS
Glenview, IL

Well organized and scaffolded; flexible structure and can be used partially or as a whole. This unit can be used as is...superbly written and thought out...incorporates many skills and allows student collaboration and student choice/voice.

Rocky Ng
South San Francisco HS
South San Francisco, CA

Thank you for creating these curriculum materials. I am beyond grateful for the quality lessons, on-the-point figures/videos, and easy-to-navigate biotechnology curriculum.

Thi Ngo
Capuchino HS
San Bruno, CA

The level of support really made the whole process easier and encouraged me to continue incorporating biotech into my curriculum. Thank you for the live assistance during the labs and for responding to inquiries so promptly and with such urgency.

Anonymous Teacher

Really well thought out curricula. Great to see "old" activities that have been re-imagined with lots of consideration to NGSS.

Anonymous Teacher

This was the best educational workshop I have had the honor of attending, and I am so thankful.

Anonymous Teacher

Wonderfully executed. Strengthened my skills. Thank you!!

Anonymous Teacher

BABEC has such a strong positive impact on teachers and students - thank you for your amazing work!