National DNA Day is a unique day when students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics! The day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix. DNA Day 2015 will be celebrated on Friday, April 24, 2015.
Since 2005, students in the ninth through twelfth grades have competed in the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) annual DNA Day Essay Contest. For 2015, ASHG received essays from students in 37 states and 16 foreign countries, including Turkey, Taiwan, Macedonia, and Ghana.
Students were asked to focus on the evolving definition of a gene to engage them in deeper thinking about our current understanding of the human genome and the future of genetics. More than 500 genetics experts from the ASHG membership judged the essays.
The contest coincides with National DNA Day, which was established by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to commemorate the 1953 discovery of DNA's double helix structure and the 2003 completion of the Human Genome Project.
1st place: David Yang, Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey
2nd place: Sagan Ghim, OHSU PSI Program; Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon
3rd place: Brian Lue, The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas
3rd place: Jacob Mueller, McNary High School in Keizer, Oregon
Daria Beatini, Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey
Jennifer Chen, Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland
Arthur Dennis, Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey
Alex Dent, James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Ferrante, Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey
Isabella Li, East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Rick Li, Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois
Sarah Link, Eureka High School in Eureka, Missouri
Paul Slaughter, James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin
Dennis Yatunin, Stuyvesant High School in New York, New York
To view essay excerpts from this year's winners and honorable mentions, go to: ASHG Essay Contest
To celebrate National DNA Day, middle and high school biology students from created DNA Day-related Pinterest boards. The results are in: See the top seven boards in the 2015 Pinterest Challenge from six states and from the Republic of Botswana. Each of these classes will receive a certificate of recognition and a set of learning tools.
Go to: Top Boards
For more ideas on how to celebrate DNA Day in your classroom, browse our DNA Day pages using the choices at the top of this page and try out our learning activities from DNA Day celebrations in the past. All of the activiites here are aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists who will use the human genome sequence to benefit human health.
For questions about DNA Day or DNA Day resources, please send an e-mail to: DNAday@mail.nih.gov
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Last Updated: March 27, 2015