Science, Tech, Math › Science DNA Models Share Flipboard Email Print Peter Dazeley/ Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images Science Biology Basics Cell Biology Genetics Organisms Anatomy Physiology Botany Ecology Chemistry Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Regina Bailey Biology Expert B.A., Biology, Emory University A.S., Nursing, Chattahoochee Technical College Regina Bailey is a board-certified registered nurse, science writer and educator. Her work has been featured in "Kaplan AP Biology" and "The Internet for Cellular and Molecular Biologists." our editorial process Regina Bailey Updated June 20, 2017 Constructing DNA models is a great way to learn about DNA structure, function, and replication. DNA models are representations of the structure of DNA. These representations can be physical models created from almost any type of material or they can be computer generated models. DNA Models: Background Information DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is housed within the nucleus of our cells and contains the genetic information for the reproduction of life. The structure of DNA was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick in the 1950's. DNA is a type of macromolecule known as a nucleic acid. It is shaped like a twisted double helix and is composed of long strands of alternating sugars and phosphate groups, as well as nitrogenous bases (adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine). DNA controls cellular activity by coding for the production of enzymes and proteins. The information in DNA is not directly converted into proteins, but must first be copied into RNA in a process called transcription. DNA Model Ideas DNA models can be constructed from almost anything including candy, paper, and even jewelry. An important thing to remember when constructing your model is to identify the components you will use to represent the nucleotide bases, sugar molecule, and phosphate molecule. When connecting the nucleotide base pairs be sure to connect the ones that pair naturally in DNA. For example, adenine pairs with thymine and cytosine pairs with guanine. Here are some excellent activities for constructing DNA models: How to Make a DNA Model Using CandyCardboard DNA ModelsDNA Jewelry ModelK'NEX DNA Models DNA Models: Science Projects For those interested in using DNA models for science fair projects, remember that simply constructing a model is not an experiment. Models may be used, however, to enhance your project.