Restriction Enzyme Digest for Inquiry allows students to take an inquiry-based approach to the laboratory, learning how to design and analyze an experiment.  Students will perform a standard restriction enzyme digest to understand how DNA can be specifically cut into fragments by restriction enzymes and then separated by fragment size on an agarose gel.  They will then change a variable within the procedure, and design and run an experiment to investigate how changing that variable effects the results.

Key Topics:

  • Scientific Inquiry & Experimental Design
  • Restriction Enzyme Function
  • Analyzing Experimental Results

This field trip is categorized as an Advanced field trip, and is geared toward students that are advanced high school level or above. This Field Trip utilizes a more sophisticated set of laboratory concepts and asks students to relate those concepts to the world around them.

In order to guarantee that your students benefit from these experiences, prior experience with enzymes, DNA electrophoresis, and the use of micropipettes is highly recommended.  Additionally, as students will be designing portions of their own experimental procedures, up-front coaching with respect to scientific experimentation will be of particular benefit to students.

Length of Field Trip: 5 hours, including a 30 minute lunch break

Cost of Field Trip: $224 for up to 16 students; $14 for every additional student

laboratory protocol
Background info: Inquiry
Background info: Re Digest for Middle School
Background info: Re Digest for High School