There has never been a more exciting time to teach high school and college biology. And thanks to Modern Biology, there has never been a more exciting time to teach high school and college biology students about DNA.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the hands-on experiences of science education you can offer your students with Modern Biology’s DNA lab experiments.
Sometimes, discussions with students reveal that they don’t really “get” the structure of DNA. With Modern Biology’s B1-1: Properties of DNA biology, teachers at every level can discuss the molecular geometry of DNA while students extract visible strands of DNA and manipulate the glass rods.
This laboratory exercise can even be useful for college students. It brings even the least confident students into the discussion of transcription, replication, and repair of DNA sequences.
Hands-On Experience of Differences in DNA
In a slightly more advanced but still-simple exercise, students can compare the length of the molecules in a test sample of DNA against six standards of DNA of known length with Modern Biology’s EXP 101: Length of DNA. This simple experiment prepares students for EXP 106: Protein Fingerprinting, EXP 201: Determining the Molecular Weight of a Protein, and EXP 202: Identifying Sex-Specific Proteins,
Gaining Basic Skills in DNA Analysis
There are biology students at every level who aren’t really sure of what proteins are. They may not have had lab work that gives them intuitive insights into how they may be observed and compared until they participate in a lab exercise like Modern Biology’s EXP-101 Electrophoretic Separation of Proteins.
This experiment is not just a demonstration of how scientists identify proteins. It is a hands-on experience with electrophoresis in the lab in which students compare the migration of a control against the migration of an experimental protein across a charged agarose gel.
There are a number of basic lab skills that are reinforced in this experiment. Students have to weigh the agarose they use to make the gel. They have to ensure the gel in the electrophoresis chamber is maintained at an appropriate temperature and pH. They have to measure the gel so it leaves wells in the gel into which they pipette the sample and controls, and they have to become adept with micropipettors.
These basic manual skills are essential for future work, and learning them adds kinesthetic learning to the laboratory experience.
Teaching DNA in a Social Context
DNA isn’t just a supremely significant biological substance, it is also a construct in understanding human relations.
Many students already know something about sickle cell disease. Modern Biology gives them an opportunity to test for the genes that cause it with EXP 102: Genetics and Sickle Cell Anemia.
Students begin by studying the differences in electrophoretic dispersal of normal hemoglobin and hemoglobin with sickle cell trait. They then test a sample of their own blood for sickle cell genes.
Opportunities for rich discussion ensue. This experiment gives students opportunities to write term papers and research papers across a variety of courses.
Modern Biology transforms teaching about DNA from a didactic exercise into an experimental exploration. Every Modern Biology experiment requires students to form and test a hypothesis, and to record their process and results in professionally acceptable language and form.
When you take advantage of the tools Modern Biology, you can integrate the scientific method into your teaching every day. Modern Biology takes high school and college biology beyond being a merely descriptive course. We provide all the non-toxic, student-safe reagents and test materials you need for every lab exercise, at a price that won’t strain your budget.
Over 500,000 students learn biology with the help of Modern Biology Inc. products every year. We want to show you why thousands of teachers trust our products. Contact Modern Biology Inc online or call us at (765) 446-4220 from 9 to 5 Eastern Time weekdays for more information.