Skip to main content


NOLA Code:
SDLG 0100H1
Number of Episodes/Length:
3 / 30
Rights End:
Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU)
Year Produced:
“Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings” is a series that follows 13 young people from across the U.S. and Canada at a new genetics and genealogy camp as they study their own DNA and family histories to answer the question “Who am I?” Inspired by the popular PBS series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." and shot on the campus of Penn State University, campers explore their ancestry using an innovative middle school genetics and genealogy curriculum never before used in an educational setting. The web address for the curriculum web site (where teachers and caregivers can view and download free lesson plans, teacher support materials and video episodes) is shared onscreen.

#101 Overview/DNA Extraction/DNA Ancestry
“Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings” follows thirteen young people ages 10-13 using science and research skills in a genetics and genealogy summer camp to answer the question “Who am I?” In a project led by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of the popular PBS series "Finding Your Roots” and Penn State University anthropology professor Nina Jablonski, campers explore their family history and DNA ancestry with techniques never before used in an educational setting. On their first day we see campers extracting and seeing their own DNA. On the second day, after predicting what they think their ancestry will be, campers open their individual DNA test results at the same time together.

#102 Observable Traits/Natural Selection/Evolution of Skin Color
On the third day, Finding Your Roots campers dig into their DNA test results to find out the likelihood they have various individual genetic traits. They take a PTC test to see if they have the dominant gene for tasting bitter compounds. Campers then head outside to play a survival game of genetic mutations and natural selection called “Food for the Bird Brain”. In the final segment campers learn how ancestry, geography and natural selection combine to determine their skin color.

#103 Genealogy/Classification/Final Projects
The Finding Your Roots campers get a crash course in genealogical research as they dig into their individual family trees to find their roots. Guest expert and New England Historic Genealogical Society genealogist Lindsay Fulton helps them begin their journey. Then they take a deep dive into classification as they examine human and animal skulls and bones for clues to determine sex, species and evolutionary order. On the last day campers present their final projects when they reunite with their families and get a surprise visit from “Finding Your Roots” host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Program Rights

Broadcast Rights:
Rights Dates:
5/29/2021 - 5/28/2024
School Rights:
V.O.D. Rights:
V.O.D. Rights Type:
Concurrent w/broadcast rights
Linear Live Streaming:
Non-Commercial Cable Rights: