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Biochemistry Classroom Kits

Part of the ‘side effects’ of the new electrophoresis sets we’ve added is that there need to be some classroom projects for teachers & students who want to use them. Well, when that happens next thing you know you’ve got all kinds of potential classroom labs to run! We’ve listed a few new biochemistry kits, some of them involve the electrophoresis apparatus, but others stand alone.

All of these kits are designed to handle sixteen students, operating in pairs. Activities take approximately 1 hour or two 1-hour sessions.

First up is the Properties of DNA Classroom Kit

In this lab, students will unravel Calf thymus DNA and spool it onto a glass rod. The materials provided include the DNA solution, and the materials to precipitate the DNA fibers. The DNA fibers can be up to 4cm long. The spooling is possible due to the double-helix nature of DNA. Students will learn about this and other properties of DNA. This classroom kit provides all materials except the very commonly available alcohol.The kit is just $104.95 and covers 16 students working in pairs.

Now the names might start to get a little long, as the next kit is Effects of Temperature on Cell Respiration

In this lab students use calibrated respirometers to measure the oxygen consumption and other factors in germinating grains. The exercise introduces students to a fundamental biological process and provides insight into seed structure and germination. This lab covers 16 students working in pairs. The kit costs $129.95 and includes the seeds and respirometers.

Taking advantage of the new Electrophoresis Apparatuses the next kits require the class have them available. The first kit is a simple, low cost Introduction to Electrophoresis

Costing just $47.95, this kit is a two-part lab where students identify unknown dye molecules by comparing their electrophoretic migration with the migration of known dyes. In the second part students identify dye molecules that bind to DNA and determine the mechanism. The exercise was designed for 8 groups of students and includes four colorful dye mixtures and DNA.

Hope you enjoyed that simple title, because next up is the impressively-named Specifity of Albumin Binding Classroom Kit, another lab involving electrophoresis equipment.

With this kit (no separate picture, sorry) we’ll just let the description speak for the kit:

“The binding of an enzyme to its substrate is only one example of the many specific molecular interactions that occur in biological systems. An analogous binding process occurs with serum albumin, which binds certain small molecular weight compounds and serves as a carrier molecule for these compounds in blood. In this exercise, students use an electrophoretic assay to examine the binding of various dyes to albumin. The results of this graphic analysis show that the binding of dyes to albumin is saturable, specific, compatible, and dependent on the native structure of the protein. The exercise is designed such that each of the eight groups of students performs a different experiment. Each group then describes their results and conclusion to the entire class. This exercise is a valuable experience in analyzing data and provides a fine introduction to enzyme kinetics. ”

OK, the final kit, which also uses Electrophoresis equipment, is a mouthful in the title alone: Electrophoretic and Chromatographic Analysis of Photosynthetic Pigments from Blue-Green Algae


Again, we have to let the kit description do the talking:

“Cyanobactera, also known as blue-green algae, obtain their energy by photosynthesis using sunlight as their energy source. These organisms have been considered to be the oldest and the most important bacteria on the earth. It is believed that they were responsible for the initial oxygenation of the earth’s atmosphere through photosynthesis and it is also felt they were the precursors to the chloroplasts that are found in true algae and plants. There are two classes of photosynthetic pigments in Cyanobactera. The first class contains water-soluble proteins and the major protein is called Phycocyanin, which is blue. The other classes of photosynthetic pigments that include the carotinoids and chlorophylls are small molecular weight molecules and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as alcohol. In this laboratory exercise, 8 groups of students isolate and characterize both groups of pigments. In part A of this exercise, students prepare a water-soluble extract from blue green algae and show that it contains the single major protein Phycocyanin by electrophoresis as shown in the gel below. They also determine the charge of this protein by comparing its electrophoretic mobility to the mobilities of dyes with known charges. In part B, they prepare an alcohol extract and analyze the smaller alcohol soluble pigments by thin layer chromatography in order to identify the chlorophylls and major carotenoid pigments. The results of this two-part study give students practical hands-on experience with isolation of components from cells as well as electrophoresis and thin layer chromatography and introduces them to one of the most important organisms on the earth. ”

Despite the long name and description, this kit also handles 16 students in pairs, and costs under $130!

These kits are excellent for schools or homeschooling groups efforts. They are economical and include excellent instructions. They are an excellent addition to any Biochem class’s curriculum.

Want to buy Classroom Biology Kits & Equipment?


ScienceWiz Kits – Now at Spectrum Scientifics

ScienceWiz has had a long tradition of making excellent science kits for kids. All of these kits were designed and authored by Penny Norman, PHD. We’ve been meaning to add parts of this line for some time and now it is in stock!

First up is Electricity:

This kit inlcudes a well-written full-color book plus the parts you need to do 18 different activities like lighting lights, buzzing buzzers, and spinning motors.

Next up is the excellent ScienceWiz Chemistry Kit

This kit stands out not only due to its excellent design, but also because it is good for kids age 5-10. Most chemistry kits have a much higher minimum age.

That said, there is the ScienceWiz Chemistry Plus Kit for older kids (8+)

Awesome experiments like popping hydrogen and flame color tests make this kit stand out!

Also popular in this series (that we have available) is the Energy Kit:

Which involves solar racers, chain reactions, and much more!

Finally we have the very well received ScienceWiz Inventions Kit

Rather that discuss the kit we will simply quote what was said about it by the Women’s Society of the IEEE after using it for camp programs for elementary school students. The IEEE’s review boasted, “The projects actually WORK….even for large groups where individualized attention is not possible.”

These kits are great for kids wanting to get a grasp on a particular subject!



New Kits from DK

DK Publishing produces colorful, informative, and fun books. But they also produce nifty kits that are one part book, and one part science kit. An example of this was their recently released Alien Robots Kit and The Science Kit.

We’ll start with the Alien Robot Kit:

Alien Robot Kit

Alient Robots Kit

This kit has 50 parts to make 6 unique robots! The parts include 2 high-speed motors, 2 battery holders, 1 axle, 1 propeller, 2 rivets, 4 foam disks and 25 card parts. With this parts you can make such robots as the Communatron, the FilterTron, The ScuttleBot, the DrillaBot, the Spinnatron, and the Defendatron which can seen in cartoony glory on the back cover:

While kids build the robots, they actually learn about physics, mechanics, motion, friction, gears, and more!

Also available from DK is The Science Kit!

The Science Kit

The Science Kit

The Science Kit with included book has enough materials to do over 100 science experiments! Creata a race car, build a helicopter, make a glider,  a lava lamp, and much more!

Both kits included the needed parts and have a 48 page booklet covering the science and experiments involved. Both kits are for ages 8+.