Agarose gel electrophoresis is a fundamental technique used daily in the molecular biology lab to assess DNA. Teach this skill in a fun way with inquiry!
Food for Thought
The IDEA kit — inquiry dye electrophoresis activity is the first dye electrophoresis laboratory activity that encourages inquiry by allowing students to explore and provide samples from everyday foods — candy! The kit covers the basic skills necessary to perform electrophoresis, including pipetting, making solutions, and casting and running agarose gels, and comparing unknown samples to the provided known samples to determine which dyes are in their candies. Students will discover how molecules move through the gel matrix, and how physical and/or chemical properties are linked to the distance molecules migrate. This kit will also open up the conversation about the use of food dyes, the different types of food dyes, and what is in the foods your students consume.
Features and Benefits
- Inquiry-based hands-on laboratory
- Kit can be completed in two 45-min laboratory sessions
- Visible results
- Real-world connection
Applications and Uses
This kit offers learning opportunities for all levels of instruction:
- For secondary and college level instruction, lessons about agarose gel electrophoresis and its accompanying skills can be introduced or reinforced with this laboratory
- For middle school instruction, the IDEA kit is a gateway to inquiry-based hands-on science experiences
The IDEA kit provides sufficient materials for eight student workstations with up to four students per workstation.