Students Develop EDS Related Science Project About DNA

BY JOE ROBERTSON The Kansas City Star

Teacher, Brittani Wilton’s talk about her genetic disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, inspired her students to develop a science project about DNA. The judging in the Battle of the Brains at Union Station was supposed to lead to one final winner.

When the moment arrived, two teams stood on the risers Wednesday under Union Station’s cathedral ceiling — Blue Valley’s Leawood Elementary School and Olathe North High School.

Time for one last tease. As if leaving the choice up to the hundreds of students, parents and others in the crowd, Burns & McDonnell Chairman Greg Graves called out for a vote by applause.

Should we choose  Olathe?

But that would leave behind the Leawood Elementary kids’ exhibit, “Genetech.”

Mostly 9- and 10-year-old children had been inspired by hearing their teacher, Brittani Wilton, talk about her genetic disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

She has to cope with hyper-flexive joints and stretchy, fragile skin. Her students found the world of genetics — how the body’s traits get handed down — fascinating.

“We were getting really excited learning about DNA,” 10-year-old Jacob Metzner said, “and how it makes a human.”

By the time they had packaged up their plans to send to the judges at Science City and Burns & McDonnell, they had created a vision into the world of genetics and DNA.

They imagined interactive stations to build your personal DNA structure, create a baby alien and get your picture taken with your clone.

Or should we choose Leawood?”

A teacher’s inspirational sharing paid off big time for these elementary school students 
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