Local students celebrate National DNA Day with special project on human genome

MADISON Ala. -- Wednesday is National DNA  Day and students at James Clemens High School celebrated with a special project.

The day recognizes the completion of the Human Genome Project and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. To celebrate, the students have been corresponding with scientists at HudsonAlpha to answer their genetic research questions.

"I want to first become a geneticist, and then get my master's in Genetic Counseling," said sophomore, Hannah Eady. She said talking to the scientists was the best part of the project.

"It's really cool because I get to see their point of how they, what they do," Eady said. "And just to see if I really want to do it, and to see how can I become what they're doing."

The students created a scale model of the genome cache by turning their hallway into a map of the human genome.

"We started putting down tiles in places where genes would exist, starting with chromosome one down there. We're gonna go all the way to the 23 which are the two sex chromosomes at the end," said science teacher, Leah McRae.

Students were given clues to find certain genes and play a game that leads them through the genome.

"I think it's important for our students to be part of history and to understand the value in, especially the project like Human Genome Project," McRae said.

She said she hopes the project will help her students make a connection between science and their real lives.