Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Bibiane Petutschnig

South Shore High School, Brooklyn

August 2003


How do we generate a large amount of a specific DNA sample?




     Students should understand the concept of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).

o       Standard C (Life Science)

o       Standard B (Physical Science)

     Students should understand the applications of DNA testing.

o       Standard E (Science and Technology)

o       Standard F (Science in Personal and Social Perspectives)

     Students should be prepared for their hands on experience in the labs that follow this lesson.

o       Standard A (Science as Inquiry)

     Students should become interested in using the internet as a learning resource.

o       Standard E (Science and Technology)

     Students should become interested in presenting information with PowerPoint.

o       Unifying Concepts and Processes




     Computer with Microsoft Powerpoint installed and connected to the internet

     (A class set of computers)

     A projector

     A white screen




Sometimes we need to know, if a certain gene is present for example to identify the carrier of a genetic disease.  The DNA that can be obtained from a sample be it a human tissue sample or a bacterial plasmid is usually not enough to determine the presence or absence of a gene beyond doubt.  That is why a certain technique called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is used to create larger amounts of the gene of interest.






Virtual Lab:

 can be used as a demonstration or, if enough computers are available, as an interactive experience for the students.



CLICK ON Bacterial ID Lab

READ introduction

CLICK to enter the lab

READ the instructions and

FOLLOW the procedure for step 1 (Sample Prep)

     and step 2 (PCR Amplification).


Summary (Homework):


Have students write a report in which they list the materials that they need to successfully complete a PCR-reaction and explain why each of the materials is important.


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