Explore the principles and applications of PCR by amplifying specific genes or gene segments. 
Illustration of PCR temperature cycle
Illustration by Regina Wu

Kit Description

This kit contains the equipment and reagents necessary to run any of our polymerase chain reaction (PCR) labs. These labs include PTC Taster, GMO, VNTR, and Alu Inserts. This kit does NOT contain any micropipettes or materials necessary to perform gel electrophoresis analysis of your PCR results. This kit comes with two MiniOne PCR machines that can hold 16 samples each. 

  • SEP has 5 PCR  Kits.
  • Each kit contains 2 MiniOne PCR machines (which hold 16 tubes each), 2 Amazon Fire tablets to run the machines, and minicentrifuges for DNA extraction protocols. 
  • Labs are designed for 8 groups of 4 students (32 students total). Make sure to tell us if your class is significantly different in size. 
  • SEP teachers who have their own equipment may request supplies only. 


Curriculum and Units Supported by the Micropipet Kit

photo of a child covering their eyes in front of a plate of vegetables

PTC Taster

In this lesson, students will predict their phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) Taster Gene status using a bitter food quiz and then analyze their own DNA from cheek cells using PCR looking for the presence of the TAS2R38 gene variant that makes them able to taste bitterness.

photo of rows of colored PCR tubes in a red thermocycler

Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) PCR

In this lab, students will analyze their own DNA from cheek cells, looking at the region of a specific  Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) called D1S80. 

photo of clear PCR tubes in a metal tube rack

Alu Insert PCR

In this lab, students will analyze their own DNA from cheek cells for the presence of an Alu insert called PV92,  a small non-coding sequence of DNA, within a specific location on chromosome 16. Alu inserts are a region of your non-coding DNA that is either present or absent in an individual’s genome.

photo of 3 corns on the cob

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) PCR

In this lab, students will analyze various food items containing corn for the presence of a well known GMO gene that codes for resistance to glyphosate, a popular herbicide, using multiplexed PCR. 

photo of many mussels

Invasive Mussel PCR

In this lab, students will analyze mussel DNA to determine whether the mussel is a species native to the Pacific Northwest or an invasive species by detecting the presence or absence  of an adhesive protein gene found in the invasive species.

Kit Sign Up Process

NOTE: Please give us a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice so we can process your request.

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:


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.