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Lesson 3-1: Mission Techniques!

Page history last edited by mariaelizabethbunn@... 8 years, 8 months ago

Lesson 3-1: <Mission Techniques!> What do I need to know to complete this mission?

~60 minutes

Student Version Teacher Discussion Notes 
  • See RFLP Assessment in Materials

In "Big Idea 2: The History",  students should have been given the "Who Dung It" scenario that their grandparents had been detained at the airport for transporting ivory that could have been illegally poached in Africa. The scenario states that preliminary tests indicate the ivory is from an African elephant, but now a sample must be sent to Dr. Comstock in Seattle to match the DNA of the confiscated ivory to a specific park in Africa that the ivory was poached from. In addition, students responded to their grandparents' dilemma by familiarizing themselves with the plight of elephants and the illegal ivory trade.


Now, in this elicitation, we will have students change hats from Dr. Comstock's clients to having to take scientific matters into their own hands and perform the DNA electrophoresis themselves!  (See Scenario Addendum). This means they must quickly gain an understanding of the procedure and familiarization with the tools and techniques of the trade! (If you've used an alternate scenario you will have to create a custom scenario addendum).


  1. Hand out a copy of the Scenario Addendum to students or student groups. Read together or give time for students to read.
  2. Elicit students' background knowledge about the procedure:  suggested topics include restriction enzymes, RFLP's, electrical charge of DNA, etc. They should have some background knowledge from Lesson 1-3 (Genetics and Society Web Quest) in which they learned how DNA fingerprinting works.
  3. Show the Electrophoresis Tutorial Video
  4. Have students access the link to the Electrophoresis Virtual Lab. This virtual lab includes background information, making the gel, setting up the gel apparatus, loading DNA into the gel, hooking up the electrical current and running the gel, staining and analyzing results.
  5. After the virtual lab, you can choose to practice with the actual equipment for the lab: gel pouring and electrophoresis box, power supply and running of the gel, loading wells and correct micropipetting. 
  6. As homework, assign the RFLP assessment. 



Elicitation Materials:


Homework Materials (Optional): 



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