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Exploring Electrophoresis and Forensics Classroom Kit

Product Highlights
  • Teach DNA fingerprinting and PCR by solving a case with gel electrophoresis
  • Available as a Classroom Kit or as a Teacher Demonstration Kit
  • Kit Refill, digital resources, How-To DVD, and reagents available separately
(in stock)


Product Details
Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

In this lab students learn about DNA analysis methods by performing gel electrophoresis to create simulated DNA fingerprints for use as evidence to solve a forensic case.

The Investigative Phenomenon of this lab is a fictional scenario in which a forensics technician analyzes the results of a crime scene. Blood evidence left by a burglar at the scene was collected to determine if a match could be made to one of two potential suspects.

Students are presented with the crime scene, the suspects, the PCR process used to prepare the evidence, and are then asked to set up, run, and analyze an electrophoresis gel to determine whether one of the suspects is connected to the crime. The question that drives their investigation is “How do we use DNA evidence, and what must be done in order to use it?”

This kit contains enough supplies for 5 student groups to perform the lab twice.

Time Requirement
Teacher prep. Approximately one 3-hour period or two 50-minute periods. Gels can be run in 45 minutes with five 9-V batteries or overnight with one 9-V battery.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that include a teacher’s manual, student guide, fill-in answer sheets, editable assessment questions, whiteboard resources, and more.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and Effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS3.B: Variation of Traits

Science and Engineering Practices
Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Learning Objectives

  • Explain at a basic level how the electrophoresis of DNA works.
  • Describe the aspects of DNA structure that make its analysis by electrophoresis possible.
  • Describe why “DNA fingerprints” or “DNA profiles” vary from person to person.
  • Be able to compare the DNA fingerprints from different people and to draw conclusions from those comparisons.
  • Be able to describe the significance of forensic DNA analysis to society.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should have basic knowledge of DNA structure, molecules and how they are structured, and an understanding of electricity, current, and charge.


What’s Included:
  • 10 Suspect 1 DNA (20-µL tube)
  • 10 Suspect 2 DNA (20-µL tube)
  • 10 Victim DNA (20-µL tube)
  • 10 Evidence DNA (20-µL tube)
  • 5 Syringes, 1 cc
  • 50 Yellow Tips
  • 1 Tubing, 10 cm
  • 1 Agarose Powder, 1.2 g
  • 1 TBE Buffer, 20x, 75 mL
  • CarolinaBLU® Stain (concentrate), 50 mL
  • 5 Electrophoresis Chambers
  • 5 4-Well Comb
  • 5 Electrodes, Black
  • 5 Electrodes, Red
  • 3 Carbon Fiber Sheets (11 x 10 cm)
  • 1 Carolina Science Online® Resources (1-year subscription)
  • 1 Teacher's Manual with Reproducible Student Guide
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Needed But Not Included:
  •  Distilled or Deionized Water
  •  Batteries, 9 V
  •  Microwave, Hot Water Bath, or Hot Plate (to prepare agarose)
  •  Gloves
  •  Document Camera or Overhead Projector
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