Colleges

A double helix lesson to beat world records

On November 3, school students will participate in a lesson including activities that will make them understand the maths and science of DNA. What is special about this lesson is that it will be held, not necessarily simultaneously, in schools across the world, and the attempt will be to establish a world record for the largest lesson held so far.

On the specified day, schools in India, the U.K., Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, Tanzania, South Africa, UAE and other countries will be participate in the lesson. This may end up breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest maths and science lesson in the world. Students would learn about DNA, perform hands-on activities and solve some maths and science problems, while simultaneously participating in the attempt to set a Guinness World Record.

“The idea came about following a conversation with Toni Beardon, University of Cambridge, with whom we have had a close relationship since the inception of Hey Math! in 2000,” said Nirmala Sankaran, co-founder, Hey Math!, who is organising the event along with Bubbly Maths, an organisation in the U.K. The teams have been involved in developing the material for the Guinness World Record lesson. These include instructional videos for teachers and students on understanding DNA, follow-up maths and science activities and exciting physical tasks.

At the time of writing this article, 28,000 learners and 1,300 teachers from 160 schools and 14 countries had registered for the event. “We are looking forward to actively popularising this unique idea and opportunity to schools in India over the next three weeks,” said Ms. Sankaran.

When asked about the relevance of the lesson, she stressed the importance of learning about DNA, a molecule so crucial to our living, and the fact that it would bring in interdisciplinary thinking.

The theme is also topical and timely, with the Nobel Prize for chemistry this year having gone to Lindahl, Modrich and Sancar for their studies of DNA repair.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 4:30:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/a-double-helix-lesson-to-beat-world-records/article7774567.ece

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