DNA Jewelry Models

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In this activity, learners construct a model of DNA to better understand the structure of DNA and protein synthesis. First, learners follow simple instructions and an instructor's demonstration to create their DNA jewelry. Then, learners decode the model to identify the m-RNA bases, t-RNA bases, and amino acids that are encoded in their "DNA." Learners will enjoy constructing the models, which they can use as key rings, earrings, bracelets or necklaces. Materials can be purchased as a kit or individually.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Overhead projector for demo
  • Large pony beads and floral or electrical wire
  • Petri dish to hold demo beads
  • Seed beads Size E (3mm) or smaller (1.5mm) (sparkle and/or plain)
  • Jewelry wire
  • Key rings, earring wires, clasps
  • Fishing line (for single threading)
  • Small plastic petri dishes (to hold beads)
  • OR Modeling with DNA Jewelry Kit (optional) (Sciencekit #IG0019875)


  • Life Sciences
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Ross, Catherine