top of page
  • Writer's pictureKate McDaniel

National DNA Day - April 25!

April 25 is National DNA Day! This is the anniversary of the day that James Watson, Francis Crick, Muarice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin published their findings on the structure of DNA in the scientific journal Nature. Even though April 25 is smack in the middle of spring break for NYC DOE students, you might send them home with this simple and fun activity (maybe it can even be extra credit!). 

Fun Fact! OmniLearns founder and CEO, Jane Powel, worked with James Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories on Long Island!

Celebrate with your students by making origami DNA models. Older students may even be able to determine what amino acids this DNA molecule codes for using the Central Dogma of Biology!

You’ll need color copies of our template and scissors and that's it! (scroll down to download the FREE PDF with instructions)

Paper DNA Instructions

  1. Cut out the image as one large rectangle.

  2. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and crease well. When folded, the color sides should face out. 

  3. Starting at the top, fold on the first horizontal line towards you. Crease well. Unfold.

  4. Repeat this step for every horizontal line. The paper will start to curl up towards you. 

  5. Starting at the top, fold on the first diagonal line towards you. Crease well. Unfold.

  6. Repeat this step with every diagonal line. 

  7. Lay your paper (still folded in half lengthwise) flat on the table. 

  8. Fold both of the white edges up. Crease well.

  9. Starting at the top of the paper, accordion fold each of the horizontal AND diagonal folds. (The first horizontal fold up, the next diagonal fold down, etc). 

  10. The paper strip will start to twist and curl under itself. Continue for all the folds.

  11. Unfurl the paper until it resembles a twisted staircase. 

Did any of your students make a model? We’d love to see it! Tag us on instagram @omnilearnstem

Origami DNA Molecule
Download PDF • 231KB

Looking for even more DNA resources?

Check out our video on DNA Structure and Replication:

Download some FREE classroom resources:

DNA Models (Elelmentary)
Download PDF • 209KB

DNA Models (Middle School)
Download PDF • 308KB

DNA Model Bracelets
Download PDF • 175KB

DNA resources from around the web:





Science facts, new labs, and fun activities right in your inbox (minus the spam). 

You're In!

bottom of page