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Try-It-Out Thursday: Daily Recommendations for Recreation

The only failure is not trying! That thing you've been meaning to do... GO FOR IT!

  • Date: 06/18/2020 (all day)

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services will be providing recommended activities to do within the comfort of your home through the Virtual Recreation Center.

Try-It-Out Thursday Activities

Here are some recommended activities related to inspiring creativity and trying new things at home:

 Link to Activities  Description
LIVE Virtual Cooking Event with TRIO's Chef Mario

Thursday, 6/18 at 9:30 a.m. 

Join TRIO's Chec Mario in preparing a refreshing salad  with ingredients that are good for brain health. Joined by Stephanie Pradun, a TRIO Registered Dietitian, who will share a number of foods that support a healthy brain. More information on how to join here.

Live Citizen Science in the Bay Area with Merav Vonshak Thursday, 6/18 at 5:00 p.m.

Many birders are familiar with eBird and other websites where they can share bird observations and contribute to global databases, but there is much more out there for citizen scientists -- from other databases where you can upload observations of any living thing, such as iNaturalist, to great local projects you can be a part of. Some of the local projects are still going on while sheltering in place and can provide an enjoyable activity for families and individuals. More information on how to join here

Gene Goop: At Home DNA Extraction

DNA extraction experiment with City Vendor, Mad Science. 


Materials needed:

  • Tomato
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Dish soap
  • Large reusable plastic bag
  • Strainer
  • Spoon
  • 2 bowls
  • 3 pieces of craft sticks or wooden skewers

*Safety note: Do NOT drink experiment at any time!


  1. Have your adult helper place the isopropyl alcohol in the freezer.
  2. Wash and dry the tomato, remove its stem and then place the tomato into the re-sealable bag.
  3. Add 1/4 tablespoon of salt, seven tablespoons of water, and one tablespoon of dish soap to the re-sealable bag.
  4. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and then seal it closed.
  5. Use your hands to squeeze the bag until the tomato is completely squashed. This should take about five minutes.
  6. Place a strainer on the bowl. Pour the contents of the bag through the strainer into the bowl. Use a spoon to push all the liquid through the strainer.
  7. Rinse the strainer and strain the tomato solution again into another bowl.
  8. Have your adult helper take the isopropyl alcohol out of the freezer. Have your helper gently add four tablespoons of the cold isopropyl alcohol to the bowl.
  9. You should see strands and clumps form after a minute. That's the tomato's DNA! How long a strand can you lift up with the craft stick?

What's going on? 

You extracted DNA! DNA is the set of instructions that tells your body how to make... you! DNA looks like long strings twisted into tight coils. Every cell in your body has a copy of your DNA. We can get DNA out by bursting the cells. Cells are like little bags made up of fatty layers called membranes. The water, salt and soap mixture act as a DNA extraction solution. The soap dissolves the fatty membrane. The salt removes anything that may be attached to the DNA, such as proteins. The DNA uncoils in the extraction solution. It mixes with the alcohol and clumps up. The fat and proteins stay in the salty, soapy part of the mixture. You can use a craft stick to pick up the clumped up DNA

Share what you're learning and how you’re having fun at home by tagging our Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #FlattenTheCurveSJ. We appreciate your input on ways we can keep growing this page!

We all have a duty to stop the spread of coronavirus by staying at home. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe. Let's continue to build community through fun during shelter-in-place!

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