Monday, July 30, 2012

A Genealogist Visits the DNA Learning Center

Dolan DNA Learning Center
Cold Springs Harbor, Long Island, New York
Lucky me to visit the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Springs Harbor, New York!  According to their website, it is the “first science center devoted entirely to genetics education”.   It is a combination museum and educational lab, serving field trips, summer camps, teacher training, and all sorts of classes.  There are Saturday DNA classes for the general public, and several DNA and genetics related films in their theater.  They also offer fellowships for college and university students and staff.

In my peek at the facility, I not only enjoyed their current exhibit, “The Genes We Share”, but I learned about how scientists James Watson and Francis Crick, who discovered and described the double helix shape of the DNA strand, were aided by Cold Springs Harbor Lab scientists.  James Watson made his announcement of his discovery at the Cold Springs Harbor symposium in 1953.  Later he became the director for thirty five years.

The model made by Watson and Crick
to show the double helix structure
of the DNA strand

A photo of Watson and Crick
with their DNA model
The facility was full of elementary and high school aged students on the afternoon I visited.  They were busy in state of the art laboratories and computer labs, learning things I wish I had learned at their age.  If I lived closer I would definitely be taking classes at the Dolan DNA Learning Center.  I remember taking a half year class in high school on genetics and DNA, but it was back in the 1970s, before all the current wonderful discoveries and genome mapping projects.  Since this facility is associated with the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratories, I’m sure that the latest discoveries are explained to the students, teachers and public here.

There are also Dolan DNA learning centers in Harlem and Lake Success, New York.  Check their website for several online classes, too.

For more information:
Dolan DNA Learning Center
334 Main Street
Cold Spring Harbor, NY  11724
Phone (516) 367-5170

Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement (circa 1910 – 1940) at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, (some of these images and text use offensive words for 21st century tastes, but are historically accurate)  Included are archives on sterilization laws and immigration restrictions all imposed on the public due to research flaws and racism.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

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