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DNA Agarose Gel Electrophoresis

Activity Summary
Students will learn the concepts of gel electrophoresis, including electrical currents and size separation of DNA fragments, through a made up scenario (e.g. crime scenes, paternity testing). Students will get hands-on experience using micropipettes and gel electrophoresis boxes while getting to visualize DNA on a gel. Restriction fragment length polymorphism can also be simulated, but is optional depending on time.

Grade Levels

Learning Objectives
1. Demonstrate the ability to transfer liquid into wells
2. Explain the uses of gel electrophoresis and how it works
3. Describe the needed materials to run gel electrophoresis
4. Identify the charge of DNA.

Lesson Materials (view or download)
Scenario 1: Who Stole the Laptop?
Scenario 2: Who Killed the Pet?
Scenario 3: Who is Charlie the Monster’s Mom?
Scenario 4: Cattail Gene Flow
Scenario 5: Sickle Cell Anemia
Scenario 6: Claxton Tiger
Scenario 7: Hissing Cockroach Murder Mystery
Scenario 8: Crayfish Plaque
Scenario 9: Cryptic Protists
Scenario 10: Which Invasive Barnacle Are You?
Teacher prep video: Micropipetting
Teacher prep video: Preparing DNA samples
Teacher prep video: Pouring a DNA gel
Teacher prep video: Running a DNA gel

DNA, science and technology, pipette

Last updated: 8/9/2021