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A collaboration of the New York City Department of Education and the Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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High School Lab Field Trips

Schools throughout New York City are invited to the Harlem DNA Lab for half-day lab field trips. Each lab is inspired by techniques and tools currently in use by research scientists.

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Footlocker caseNOW AVAILABLE!
Genetics and Biotechnology Footlocker Kits
From the Harlem DNA Lab

To assist in the implementation of targeted labs, we are pleased to announce Footlocker Kits are now available for rental.

  • Each kit will contain all the equipment and replenishable materials for up to 4 classes to complete a lab or set of labs.
  • Kits may be rented for up to 2 weeks for a restocking fee of $50 for 1-2 classes or $100 for 3-4 classes.
  • Scholarships may be available for schools unable to pay rental fees.
  • Upon request, Harlem DNA Lab instructors will assist with kit implementation at school, free of charge.
  • Kits may be picked up at the Harlem DNA Lab or can be shipped directly to participating teachers at school. (Round-trip shipping of approximately $50 per case must be paid by teacher/school.)
Footlocker Downloads

Application Form:
Word     PDF

Student Demographic Form:
Word     PDF

Student Permission Slip

Rental Eligibility:

Participation in a Genetics and Biotechnology Professional Development workshop(s) at the Harlem DNA Lab corresponding to the Footlocker kit of choice is required prior to kit rental. Each workshop session integrates the use of corresponding Footlocker Kits, so teachers are familiar with equipment use and lab preparation for each activity. Additionally, participants are introduced to the Lab Center, an online resource designed to provide teacher support in the form of lesson plans, student worksheets, lab protocols and biomedia links for each of the targeted labs.

If you would like to sign up to rent a kit, please download the Footlocker Application Form, fill it out and email it to Melissa Lee at harlemdnalab@cshl.edu.

When you pick up your kit, you need to submit a Student Demographic Form for each class that will use the kit. These can also be emailed to Melissa Lee at harlemdnalab@cshl.edu.

Available Footlocker Kits:

Variability, Inheritance, DNA Structure, and DNA Isolation

4 Labs: 1 CASE

This kit includes materials to complete four basic lab activities:

  1. Introduction to Mendelian Inheritance, using maize as a model for the demonstration of dominant and recessive inheritance.
  2. Observation of genetic mutations in Drosophila fruit flies.
  3. Constructing DNA models Lab
  4. DNA extraction from bananas.

Includes:

  • Hybrid corn cobs
  • Drosophila (dead) with assorted mutations
  • "Bug Box" magnifiers for Drosophila observations
  • Popsicle sticks, masking tape and wire for DNA models
  • Ethanol, soap buffer solution, banana baby food, plastic loops
  • Screw cap plastic test tubes, tube racks, plastic droppers, tube labels
  • Water bath with thermometer

NOTE: Teacher is responsible for labeling tubes and aliquoting solutions for the DNA extraction. All pertinent worksheets, protocols and observation sheets can be printed from the Lab Center at: http://www.dnalc.org/labcenter/harlem/.

Bacterial Transformation or Protein Isolation

1 Lab, 2 CASES

Observe first-hand that genes code for traits! Using a plasmid vector, harmless E.coli bacteria are transformed with the GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) gene, normally found in the Pacific jellyfish Aequoria Victoria. If successful, the bacteria will produce the bioluminescent jellyfish protein, and glow! This experiment utilizes techniques used by pharmaceutical companies to make human proteins such as Insulin. By special request only, an additional set of materials can be included to extract and purify GFP from transformed bacteria. Includes:

  • Micropipets and sterile tips
  • Bacteria, plasmids, Luria Broth, calcium chloride
  • Petri dishes with LB agar and LB agar plus ampicillin (antibiotic)
  • Waterbath with thermometer
  • Sterile glass beads for bacterial spreading
  • 1.5 ml tubes, labels, tube racks, markers, plastic beakers

NOTE: Teacher is responsible for labeling tubes and aliquoting solutions for this lab, and must supply ice during lab and bleach for clean-up. Teacher must have a refrigerator to store reagents and Petri dishes. All pertinent worksheets, protocols and observation sheets can be printed from the Lab Center at: http://www.dnalc.org/labcenter/harlem/.

DNA Analysis and Forensics

1 Lab, 3 CASES

In this lab, students use the same techniques that scientists and detectives use to analyze DNA. DNA is digested by EcoRI, Hind III and "mystery" restriction enzymes. The resulting DNA fragments and their unique gel patterns or "fingerprints" are analyzed by gel electrophoresis, and the "mystery" enzyme is indentified. Includes:

  • Micropipets and sterile tips
  • Water bath and thermometer
  • 1.5 ml tubes, labels, tube racks, markers, plastic beakers
  • Gel electrophoresis chambers and power supplies
  • Microcentrifuge
  • Digital camera with UV transilluminator
  • Bacteriophage Lambda DNA, restriction enzymes, restriction buffer, dH2O, 1% Agarose, and ingredients for TBE electrophoresis buffer
  • Practice loading dye and loading dye with Sybr-Green DNA stain

NOTE: Teacher is responsible for labeling tubes and aliquoting solutions. Teacher must also supply a heat source (microwave) for melting agarose, a refrigerator/freezer for storage of reagents and bottled water in 1-liter bottles to make TBE electrophoresis buffer. All pertinent worksheets, protocols and observation sheets can be printed from the Lab Center at: http://www.dnalc.org/labcenter/harlem/.

PCR and Human DNA Variation, Parts I & II

1 Lab, 2 CASES

In this lab students will extract and amplify their own DNA.* Using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) each participant will amplify a specific region of his/her own DNA and use gel electrophoresis to analyze the results. Teachers have the option of using primers to:

  • Part I: amplify a "jumping gene" on chromosome 16 (an Alu insertion) to determine if students are homozygous or heterozygous for the inheritance of the 300 base pair insertion.
  • Part II: amplify a small portion of mitochondrial DNA that can be sent back to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to be sequenced, and uploaded to the BioServer website for sequence comparison.

Includes:

  • Micropipets and sterile tips
  • Thermocycler
  • Pre-cast E-gels and power supplies
  • Digital camera and UV transilluminator
  • Microcentrifuge
  • 1.5 ml tubes, markers, tube racks, labels
  • Chelex, Primer mixes, Ready-to-Go PCR beads
  • Practice loading dye and loading dye with SYBR
  • Green DNA stain

NOTE: Teacher is responsible for labeling tubes and aliquoting solutions. Teacher must also supply plastic or paper cups, bottled water and salt to make and aliquot saline solution, heat source (microwave) to melt agarose and refrigerator/freezer for storage of reagents. All pertinent worksheets, protocols and observation sheets can be printed from Lab Center.

* By law, any student under the age of 18 must submit a permission slip (included in kit) signed by a parent or guardian prior to participation in this lab.

Lab equipment