How to Make DNA Models Made Out of Pipe Cleaners & Beads

Updated February 21, 2017

DNA models can be made from a variety of objects, including out of pipe cleaners and beads. A DNA molecule consists of two strands connected together by several rungs like a ladder. The whole model is twisted into a configuration referred to as a double helix. The double helix formation looks like a spiral staircase that twists around a central point, only in the DNA model there is no pole through the middle.

Twist the end of two of the pipe cleaners. Choose two colours of beads and put them on each pipe cleaner, alternating the colours. Make sure to start with the same colour bead on each pipe cleaner. There should be 17 beads on each pipe cleaner when you are done. Twist the other end of the pipe cleaners to keep the beads from falling off.

Lay the two pipe cleaners next to each other. Measure and cut several 2-inch pieces of pipe cleaner. Twist each end of the 2-inch piper cleaner pieces onto the two pipe cleaners with the beads, making sure they are twisted at the same height on each pipe cleaner. Continue this until the finished product resembles a ladder.

Twist the two long pipe cleaners into a double helix formation.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe cleaners
  • 16 green beads
  • 18 blue beads
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
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