IGEM Outreach: Synthetic Biology and You Interactive Workshop (Gr.11)

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Synthetic Biology and You Interactive Workshop

  • Waterloo iGEM 2012
  • Aimed towards secondary school (Grade 11)
  • Download handout


Similar to the previous Community Brick for synthetic biology and you but for Gr.12, this activity that is included is more suited for Gr.11s. This is to reflect a more basic understanding of biology and incorporates an activity that will suit their knowledge level.


Download Material Worksheet for Synthetic Biology and You (Gr.11) Plasmid Activity
Purpose: Teaching the students, how to cut a DNA strand using Restriction Enzymes.


  • DNA Base Sequence Strips
  • Restriction Enzyme Sequence Strips
  • Scissors

Please Note: All the strips made in this experiment were all originally created on random basis by UW iGEM Outreach Team. The experiment idea however was adapted from The Biology Corner

1. The idea behind this activity is to teach the students how to a DNA sequence is cut using a Restriction Enzyme and the function of them
2. Each student will get a set of DNA Base Sequence Strips and Restriction Enzyme Sequence Strips.
3. Start with the DNA Base Sequence Strips, cut the strips out outlined by the black line (just the outside).
4. Take the Restriction Enzyme, and cut them out along the outside black outline. These will serve as the specific restriction enzyme that will be found in some of the DNA sequences and cut them in a precise position.
5. Take the cut outs of the Restriction Enzymes will then be used to compare your individual DNA Sequence Strand.
6. Keep in mind not every DNA strand will have the exact same sequence. Be very careful when looking for the matching Restriction Enzyme sequence.
7. When you find the same sequence on your DNA Sequence, mark that location.
8. Repeat this step with both Restriction Enzymes.
9. Since some DNA Sequences will not have an enzyme while the other might have one or the other enzyme, check the matching sequences carefully. This will help you choose the appropriate enzyme if any is present.
10. Once you have matched a Restriction Enzyme to your specific DNA Sequence, cut the DNA sequence in the appropriate spot.
11. Identify whether it is a “sticky” end cut or a “blunt” end cut.

This activity can be taken further by adding a plasmid base sequence and teaching the students how to make a plasmid using the same tools and it’s functions.

Reference: http://www.biologycorner.com/worksheets/DNA_analysis.html

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