The teacher tester is a kit pack that brings together everything a science or visual arts teacher needs to get started with using hands-on biology exercises as a fun and engaging part of their class. This kit pack enables teachers with no expertise or experience in life science research to test, learn and practice hands-on STEM or STEAM biology to their classrooms! Teachers around the world who once thought this subject daunting and too complex are now using these kits with up to 120 student groups to bring engaging and real world experiences to their classrooms. Moreover, Amino Labs is seeing teachers of different disciplines collaborate and cross-cut with biology (e.g. visual art and biology, math and biology).
With this Teacher Tester Kit Pack and Amino Labs products in general, you do not need to have a dedicated lab space. The DNA Playground Large can be easily stored on a shelf or in a cabinet, freeing up the desk or bench space for other class activities.
Biotechnology has become a rapidly growing global industry. Now is a great time for students to learn hands-on biology through engaging exercises. These exercises can spark student interest in a viable and lucrative career path. This applies to both students interested in science and engineering, but also students interested in art and design - as biotechnology industry continues to grow and diversify, artist and designers are increasingly needed to communicate new science ideas to the public, develop product descriptions, and in the area of speculative design and science fiction writing, to inspire and direct biotechnology itself!
1x copy of the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero book
Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginner's Guide to Programming Bacteria at Home, School & in the Makerspaceis a 186 page book with over 130 color illustrations that take educators and students through a journey of exploring biology through fun and engaging hands-on activities.
Use the book as an enriched substitute for instruction manuals. Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero includes “Going Deeper” and “Pro-tip” sections throughout the exercises which give the reader more context about the hands-on activity. The Fundamentals sections in each chapter cover an important subject that relates back to and are “anchored by” the hands-on exercise. Each Chapter also concludes with questions that the students can answer to demonstrate their understanding of subjects explored in the chapter.
Chapter 2 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero, guides you through setting up your “lab” environment as well as the basic safety suggestions.
1x DNA Playground Large
DNA Playground is a a new kind of lab equipment that is especially designed for those just learning about biotechnology, molecular biology, and genetic engineering. The DNA Playground enables fun and engaging genetic engineering experiments and includes a “cold station”, which, eliminates the need to source ice and ice buckets, a hot station, which, eliminates the need for a hot water bath and a thermometer, and a petri dish incubator that can hold up to eight petri dishes (6 cm) for incubating your cells.
The 3-in-1 nature of the DNA Playground highly simplifies getting the equipment for doing these fun and engaging exercises, reduces the cost compared to buying traditional lab equipment, and lowers the set up and clean up time. Moreover, these units take only seconds to turn off, unplug, and store away in a cupboard for next time - this means you do not need a dedicated lab space to set up and maintain the equipment.
Each DNA Playground Large can host up to four groups of students doing the Canvas Kit or Engineer-it Kit exercises. Typically a classroom will require between 2 and 4 DNA Playground Large, depending on the student group sizes.
2x DNA Extraction Kits (Chapter 1)
Doing a hands-on experiment where you actually get to see real DNA emerge from a strawberry is surprising and delightful. This hands on exercise is an engaging and sticky activity that is a great anchor for learning some fundamentals about DNA, which are included in the second half of Chapter 1 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero. Fundamental concepts in Chapter 1 include evolution, the structure of DNA and and chemical elements that are the building blocks of living things, the vocabulary often used to describe DNA (genes, genome, chromosomes, etc.), and the use of DNA in industry.
The only ingredient that needs to be acquired separately is a bottle of rubbing alcohol, which, can be found at a local pharmacy, grocery store, or already in your home/school.
2x Canvas Kits (Chapter 3)
Watching bacteria cells grow and change color is an ah-ha moment that leaves a lasting impression with students. What do bacteria cells look like? What do bacteria eat and grow on? Students learn how to make LB agar petri dishes and learn how to streak cells, a technique that is very important in research labs around the world.
Further, students also get to create BioArt by “painting” with the bacteria on petri dishes, and watch the living canvases emerge by incubating them. BioArt is an emerging field of art that is being researched and explored in the top art and design universities such as the Royal College of Art in London, and Parson’s School of Design in New York.
The Fundamentals section of Chapter 3 in Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero cover the structure of a bacterium cell and takes the students through a tour of a bacterium cell. The four macromolecules of living organisms are discussed and it emerges that cells are like micro-factories and are made of “molecular mash-ups” of the four macromolecules of living organisms.
2x Engineer-it Kits (Chapter 4)
What is genetic engineering? How does it actually work? The students make their own LB agar petri dishes, streak their own “blank cells” and then get to engineer their own blank cells with a DNA plasmid that causes the cells to express a color producing gene. This is called a transformation experiment and is a very important technique in the world of life science research. This is likened to the “Hello World!” of computer programming.
The Fundamentals of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Chapter 4 begin covering how the cells begin to read DNA and the concept of a gene begins to emerge. Students learn the “basic operating environment of a cell” and learn that cells cannot think, but rather it is chemistry that dictates how the cells operate. Transcription is the primary topic of Chapter 4 Fundamentals and the students learn how cells know how to start reading DNA (start transcription), do transcription, and stop transcription.
If you want to cover translation of RNA into proteins, this is the topic of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Chapter 5, which also has a fun and engaging hands-on exercise.
1x Safety Set Mini
A safety set includes 5 disposable plastic aprons that can be used as lab coats. This kit also includes 2 small and 3 medium pairs of nitrile gloves.