BABEC offers four categories of activities:

Getting Started with Lab Skills
Forensic Science Lab Activities
Genetic Engineering with Bacterial Transformation
DNA Analysis using Polymerase Chain Reaction

Getting Started with Lab Skills

The “Getting Started” lab sequence features three exciting introductory lessons that introduces lab concepts and fundamental techniques to prepare students to perform more advanced lab experiments and is a required prerequisite to the Forensic and PCR labs.

Do We Eat That? Strawberry DNA Extraction
Introduction to different components of DNA extraction

Students learn about the structure and properties of DNA, and why certain reagents are needed in order to extract DNA.

Introduction to an essential piece of lab equipment 
Students are introduced to small volumes by comparing different types of volumetric measurement tools, eventually learning how to use micropipette properly.

Gel Electrophoresis
Introduction to the concept of gel electrophoresis
Students learn about a fundamental and commonly utilized lab technique, understanding what makes electrophoresis happen.

Forensic Science Lab Activities

Come on Watson, The Game is Afoot!
Using DNA and Forensic Science to Solve a Mystery
Students must apply all the skills they have accumulated from “Getting Started” to solve the mystery.

Forensic Analysis of DNA Samples Using PCR
Students extract their own DNA and amplify a fragment of DNA commonly used in forensics analysis

Genetic Engineering with Bacterial Transformation


Bacterial Transformation with GFP
Engineer bacteria to express characteristics not found in its natural species
By transforming cells with a plasmid containing a gene for green fluorescent protein, students understand that changing an organism’s genotype can result in a remarkably different phenotype.

DNA Analysis using Polymerase Chain Reaction


Analyze a genetic polymorphism to study human populations

Students learn about allele frequencies, transposable DNA elements, and issues of identity and privacy.

Wolbachia PCR
Discover the microbes within!

Students learn how lateral gene transfer between species, symbiosis, and co-evolution describe our world.

Mitochondrial DNA PCR
Tracing your Matrilineal Ancestry: Sequencing and Bioinformatics
Find out Where You’re Really From
Students discover their deep ancestry and learn how we all connect on the human family tree.

Forensic Analysis of DNA Samples Using PCR
Understanding the ethics of DNA testing

Students determine their individual “DNA fingerprint” and learn about subtle variations in the human genome.

Introduction to PCR
Examining the components and conditions for PCR
Students take a closer look at each of the individual components in PCR reactions and at the theory behind the technology.

PCR of Genetically Modified Organisms
Understand the science and make informed decisions

Students are introduced to the process of genetic engineering and the detection of transgenic DNA in our food supply.

PCR Optimization
Explore how miniscule changes can greatly influence experimental outcomes 

Students optimize PCR components to learn how scientists design and improve experiments through trial and error.