Gel Electrophoresis (Horizon) Kit

Students explore how to use biotechnology equipment, how to micropipette, and how to perform gel electrophoresis, analyzing various samples from dyes to DNA.

Illustration of gel with DNA fragments
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

Kit Description

The Gel Kit contains 8 Horizon gel electrophoresis boxes, 4 power supplies, 2 microcentrifuges, a complete set of 32 micropipettes, 8 of each volume range. It also comes with all the reagents and consumables needed for students to explore micropipetting and gel electrophoresis. 

  • SEP has 12 Horizon Gel Electrophoresis Kits
  • Each Gel Kit has 3 crates and a freezer box for DNA and reagents
  • Labs are designed for 8 groups of 4 (32 students total). Make sure to tell us if your class is significantly larger in size
  • SEP teachers who have their own equipment may request to receive supplies only

Curriculum and Units Supported by the Gel Kit

close up of hands micropipetting

Intro to Micropipetting

In this lesson, students are introduced to micropipetting. They will explore how a micropipette works, what the various ranges of different micropipettes are, how to read and adjust the volume, and how to properly use a micropipette.

close up of a gel box and comb

Electrophoresis Exploration

In this lesson, students learn about the equipment used in  gel electrophoresis and the chemical properties behind its function. Through this inquiry lab, they will learn about the concepts of conductivity, pH, and buffer chemistry.

close up of microtubes with various dyes

Dye Electrophoresis Lab

In this lesson, students learn about dye chemistry and how to separate complex mixtures of molecules by size, shape, and charge using gel electrophoresis analysis. 

gel with DNA samples

Precut DNA Lab

In this lesson, students connect concepts about DNA and enzymes by running gel electrophoresis analysis on pre-cut DNA and observing different banding patterns created by different enzymes.

heat block with two microtubes

Molecular Scissors

In this lesson, students will use restriction enzymes to cut DNA at specific locations. Students perform their own restriction enzyme digests and analyze the resulting banding patterns in their gels.

photo of an elephant's face from the front

Elephant Ivory Cache Unit

Explore how to integrate ecology, ethics, and biotechnology into a biology classroom by using current research on African elephant conservation. Students have opportunities for evidence-based argumentation as they collectively determine the source of poached ivory through a DNA lab experience.

photo of two hands on two vertical metal bars

DNA Exoneration

This unit uses multiple DNA exoneration case studies as a way for students to explore modern day forensics, the criminal justice system, and mass incarceration in the U.S. 

Manuals

We recommend soaking the gel in 100 X Fast Blast for 3 minutes. Then rinse well (but carefully!) several times. It takes several rinses and some time to clear the background stain, but this process gives really great results. You can leave the gel destaining in a little water overnight and see really beautifully stained bands in the morning.

Provides several ways to use the stain for DNA gels.

Kit Sign Up Process

NOTE: Because of limited staff days at the Hutch, please give us a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice so we can process your request.

Current days for Pick up and Drop Off of SEP items are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1. Complete Online Demographic Form (only needs to be done once, skip if already filled out) Estimated numbers are OK.

2. Fill out either the SCHOOL-YEAR KIT REQUEST form or SUPPLIES-ONLY form:

OR

3: Confirmation Email: Once we have your items scheduled we will send a preliminary email summarizing your items and dates for pick up and drop off. 

How to Pack Crates

Yes, Gel Kit crates can be a pain in the . . . But! There's hope. Here are three guides, one for each crate. If items just aren't behaving, it's better to put them in a separate container (box, grocery bag) and bring them in that way. We would rather have them returned separate and intact, rather than together, smooshed and broken.