Students study DNA through hands-on learning lab

Tenth grade biology students were treated to an in-school field trip as they participated in a DNA Electrophoresis lab. Electrophoresis is a process in which enzymes are used to break up DNA into fragments, which are then put into a gel solution and studied.

“If you watch CSI, you see them using this technique; it’s a technique that’s been around for a while,” explained science teacher John Lawler.

The hands-on multi-day lab is possible thanks to a partnership with the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers, of which Mr. Lawler is a member. Teachers train at Cornell, and then are able to use the university’s lending library to take labs such as this back to their own schools.

This particular DNA workshop comes with a back story surrounding a paternity lawsuit. Students are testing DNA strands to find a match. In this case, they aren’t working with human DNA, but instead a simple genome of bacteria.

Check out photos of the process below.