Genetics: Unlock the Code

You are 99.9 percent identical to the person standing next to you. GENETICS: UNLOCK THE CODE helps visitors discover the science and wonder behind that fraction of a percent. Hop on a DNA dance floor, copy yourself in a duplication station or explore the trait tree. Through hands-on activities, you’ll gain a better understanding of the human genome — the instructions that tell your body’s cells how to operate. Genetics is what makes you, well … you!


At the DNA Dance-Off, hop on an interactive floor to make DNA. Copy yourself in the Duplication Station — a photo booth with a twist. See what you’d look like with different inherited traits with Try-a-Trait. Test your knowledge in the Genetics Quiz, using body motion to select answers. Check out Genes and You, an interactive book that tells your amazing story. Stick out your tongue, smile and check your earlobes and hairline at the Trait Tree, then discover how many people share your same traits. Spin the dial to explore the visual world of genetics at the Spin Browser. At Genes in Common, guess how much we are like other species. (We share 99.9 percent of our genetic code with other humans, but also 85 percent with cows!) Explore a geneticist’s Picture of Us — the karyotype — and take a closer look at six genetic conditions.

Leawood Elementary School

For a team of fourth graders at Leawood Elementary, thinking big meant pursuing their interest in an issue close to them (their teacher’s genetic condition) and mastering a new concept. The team followed their curiosity all the way to the winner’s circle, earning the highest award in the 2013 Battle of the Brains elementary division. The students and teacher worked with architects, engineers, construction managers and curators at Burns & McDonnell — as well as Science City staff — to see their big ideas come to life.