Thinktank

Think Tank

PCR Workshop

Description:
In this PCR experiment, students make billions of copies of a small amount of DNA. Students mix template DNA & Primers with PCR beads that contain all of the other components required to carry out a PCR reaction. The results of the experiment will help you to solve a crime and catch a thief.


Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used to make multiple copies of DNA fragments
  • Learn about the processes involved in DNA fingerprinting and how gene sequencing allows for genome-wide comparisons between individuals
  • Appreciate the forensic implications of this area of research
  • Discover how DNA fragments can be separated by size by electrophoresis
  • Reinforce prior knowledge of DNA structure and function
  • Consider the ethical implications of genetic research


Skills Covered:

  • Practical skills including using a micropipette
  • Develop existing laboratory skills
  • Understand how to use an electrophoresis tanks, in particular how to pipette into wells once filled with buffer solution
  • Comment on the reliability of their results; assess where mistakes were made and how they could be reduced.
  • Observation skills
  • Work effectively in a team
  • Debate ethics of this area of research


Pre and post visit ideas:

Make a DNA helix out of pipe cleaners and beads.
Collect headlines from newspapers on genetic testing and debate about how truthful they are.
Write the following on separate paper: genetic, not genetic and a variety of traits e.g. eye colour, hair colour, sickle cell anaemia, alcoholism etc. Give each student a word and they have to place it in genetic or not genetic, or you can have a spectrum to make it more flexible.

For stories showing how genetic conditions affect people's lives, see http://www.genesareus.org/
Please note that Thinktank does not take responsibility for the content of third party sites.
 
Lab 5
PCR workshop

16 pupils

10.00-3.00

 
 

Keywords

PCR, DNA, Genes, DNA fingerprinting, Genetics, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Laboratory

 

Gallery Links

Medicine Matters Gallery: The Gene Mixer, Cracking the DNA Code, Gene Switch and Genetics: What would you do?

 

Download workshop information

Download KS3 & 4

Click on image to download PDF document

 

Contact our Education Bookings Team

0121 202 2244

educationbookings@thinktank.ac