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DNA Learning Lab Programmes

 

Welcome to the DNA Learning Laboratory!

Students and public can now engage in unraveling the secrets of life at the DNA Learning Lab at Science Centre Singapore. This facility allows students (primary to pre-university levels) and public to keep pace with the DNA revolution and advances in the life sciences. So come along, learn and enjoy the experience!

 

    

 

Workshop fees indicated are for school bookings only 

  • Click here to download the PDF version of the 2014 DNA Lab Programmes Booklet (5 MB).
  • Click here to donwload the PDF version of the 2013 DNA Lab Programmes Booklet (4 MB).
  • For enquiries, please contact dnalab@science.edu.sg
     
  • Bookings by Singapore-based MOE schools:
    Genetic Engineering and DNA Barcoding – please email dnalab@science.edu.sg
    For all other classes, schools can book online at https://obs.science.edu.sg/login.aspx 
  • Private school, Overseas school and Corporate group bookings
    The listed course fees apply only to local MOE schools. Private schools, Overseas schools and all Corporate groups (including locally based corporate groups) can contact Marketing to place their bookings. Kindly note that an additional charge applies per pax on top of the listed course fees, as well as admission rates.

More about the DNA Learning Lab

DNA Programmes Offered in 2014 

  Title Type Levels
  DNA: Cracking the Code of Life 
Bioethics (Discussion + Exhibition) 
Bacteria Outbreak!
Diversity of Cells
DNA Basics
DNA Detectives
ExCELL - NEW!
Genes and Our Traits
Bacteria and Health
DNA and Life
DNA in Forensic Science 
Enzymes
Finding the Lost Princess - A Forensic Approach 
Genetic Diseases
Amazing Enzymes
Bacteria Transformation 
Restriction Enzyme Analysis (Full-day workshop)
DNA Barcoding - NEW!
Forensic Analysis DNA Profiling
Genetic Engineering: Recombinant DNA Cloning
Genetically Modified Food - What's Your Take?
PTC Taste Receptor
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DNA: Cracking the Code of Life
Description Chromosomes, DNA, genes, proteins - are they the same thing? Do all the three million bases in our DNA contain information and how is this information decoded to give our traits? The answers to these questions (and more) will be explored by the students through group activities and games. Students will also get to learn the different kinds of mutations in DNA and its implication; how a seemingly tiny change in DNA results in significant life-changing impacts. 
Mode of Delivery Lecture Demonstration
Target Audience Secondary 3 to Secondary 4/5 (Intermediate)
Group size 40 minimum, 80 maximum
Duration 2 hours
Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
Course Fee Free (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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Bioethics (Discussion + Exhibition)
Description Allowing research on your DNA; using human as lab rats; harvesting organs from a donor. Science has made these possible but it does not answer if they are right or ‘how it affects me’, and this makes science seem irrelevant to society. Bioethics allows students to understand how science affects mankind and thus allows them to make better ethical decisions. Through a first-hand experience on one of three scenarios, students will be guided to analyse ethical situations and learn how to be effective in a discussion as well as respect others’ rational decision.

Option A: Organ transplantation
Option B: Stem cell treatment and clinical trials
Option C: Genetic testing

By engaging in activities tailor-made for each of these scenarios, students will learn how to question and analyse scientific dilemmas and be prepared to make ethical decisions in the future.
Mode of Delivery Discussion, tour of bioethics exhibition with trail booklet given, addressing some of the ethical issues.
Target Audience  Primary 5 to Pre-U
(Content will be adjusted according to the level of the students)
Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
Duration 2.5 hours
Time: 9.30am or 2.30pm
Course Fee  Free (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members).

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Bacteria Outbreak!
Description Bacteria and virus outbreaks can cause chaos and serious harm to a huge number of people especially if they are not detected and controlled in time. It is important to know how to handle outbreaks and how to prevent outbreaks. In this lesson, students will be investigating a case of outbreak through a series of basic epidemiological techniques. They will find the source of the infection, resolve the case and understand how that outbreak could have been prevented.
Practicals
  • Microscope viewing of bacteria
  • Bacteria plating 
  • Mode of Delivery  Practical lab session
    Target Audience  Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size  20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Diversity of Cells
    Description Look around you and you will notice the variety of life forms on Earth. In this session, students will be introduced to the concept of cell diversity. Cells covered include yeast, pond organisms, animal, plant and bacterial cells. Students will be taught to use the microscope to view these cells and identify for themselves the differences between various cells. They will solve a mystery, based on their ability to identify different cells.
    Practicals
  • Microscope viewing
  • Wet-mount slide preparation
  • Simple staining for identification of cells
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience  Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time: 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee  $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    DNA Basics
    Description DNA is the blueprint of life and knowing about it gives us great knowledge in the way life works. In this class, students will be introduced to DNA as the most important molecule of life and made aware of the role of DNA in our lives. Students will get a better understanding of the structure of DNA by making a DNA model. They will also be able to see what DNA looks like in real life, by extracting it from bacterial cells.
    Practicals
  • DNA extraction (bacteria)
  • DNA model making
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee: $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    DNA Detectives 
    Description Every crime scene leaves a trace but do they lead to the right criminal? Follow the path of a forensic investigator as students process a series of evidence using various methods. As they work to solve the mystery behind the case, they will understand more about DNA and its significance in forensic studies.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Gel electrophoresis (actual DNA samples are not used)
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience  Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size  20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Genes and Our Traits - REVISED
    Description Most of our physical traits are determined by the genes we carry. Students are introduced to the concept of genetic inheritance by determining the variation of several genetic traits from parents to offspring. Why is one baby a boy, and another one a girl? Why does one child have blue eyes, and another brown eyes? Learning how genes and chromosomal changes are passed down through generations helps students to understand why one person can be affected by a genetic disease, while his parents and another sibling are unaffected.
    Practicals:
  • Genetic traits identification exercises
  • DNA extraction (wheat germ)
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    ExCELL - NEW!
    Description Attended the Diversity of Cells class and want to learn more about microscopy? ExCELL is specially designed to give students a more in-depth knowledge about cells and the applications of a microscope. In this class, students will be introduced to other methods of slide preparation, as well as observe and understand how cells specialise to perform their function. Students will also get to investigate and identify different types of pond micro-organisms in their pond water samples.
    Practicals:
  • Microscope viewing of live pond micro-organisms
  • Methods of specimen preparation
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Primary 5 & Primary 6
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)
    Pre-requisite Students must have attended Diversity of Cells lesson

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    Bacteria and Health
    Description The presence of bacteria in our living environment can affect us in many ways. Students will be introduced to the positive and negative effects of bacteria in our daily lives. Students will take on the role of medical scientists to solve a foul play involving bacteria in a school. During the process of solving the case, they will learn about the different shapes of bacteria and the way to identify bacteria from their shapes and arrangements. They will also carry out a test to check on the resistance of the bacteria to two types of antibiotics. Students will then gain a better understanding about how bacteria resistance can affect our lives. 
    Practicals
  • Sterile and micropipetting techniques
  • Sterile techniques/plating
  • Antibiotic resistance test
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 1 to Secondary 2 (Beginner)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    DNA and Life - REVISED
    Description DNA is often described as the most important molecule of life. In this class, students will be introduced to the main structural components of DNA and learn about the importance of DNA. They will perform DNA extraction on three different samples and deduce the differences between them. Through this, they will gain a better appreciation of the role and relevance of DNA in our daily activities.
    Practicals
  • Karotyping activity
  • DNA extraction 
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 1 & Secondary 2 (Beginner)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    DNA in Forensic Science
    Description A trace is left in every crime scene but do they lead to the right criminal? As students adopt the role of forensic investigators, they will learn different ways of processing evidence and investigate the difference between subjective and objective techniques used in crime laboratories. Through their investigation to nail the right criminal behind the case, students will understand more about DNA, its significance in forensic studies, and how DNA has become one of the most powerful tools that can prove one’s innocence or guilt. 
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques  
  • Gel electrophoresis techniques (Actual DNA samples are not used)
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 1 to Secondary 2 (Beginner)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Enzymes
    Description Enzymes are one of the most important proteins coded by our DNA as they are the main drivers of biological processes in any living organisms. Now, their activities are also harnessed by companies to speed up industrial processes. In this class, students will be taken through experiments to explore the different properties of enzymes and how certain factors affect the activity of enzymes. They will also learn the uses and application of enzymes in commercial industries and most importantly, in everyday life.
    Practicals
  • Effects of temperature on enzyme activity
  • Uses of enzymes e.g. lactase and rennase
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 1 to Secondary 2 (Beginner)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration  2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Finding the Lost Princess - A Forensic Approach 
    Description The Romanovs - the last imperial family of Russia, burdened by the Russian revolution, scandals and ailing son with a fatal genetic condition, finally met their gruesome, untimely demise at the hands of the Red Army firing squad. Almost 60 years later, a mass grave was discovered in cold Siberia and nine of the eleven members of the imperial family were accounted for. But what happened to the youngest children of the Tsar, Anastasia and Alexei? Was Anna Anderson telling the truth when she claimed to be Princess Anastasia? In a captivating class that combines real history and forensic analysis, students will learn of the fate of the two youngest Romanovs and how the haemophilia gene became prominent in the European royal family.  
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Gel electrophoresis techniques
  • Comparison of evidence
  • Mode of Delivery  Practical lab session
    Target Audience  Secondary 3, 4/5 (Intermediate)
    Group size  20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 3 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $8.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Genetic Diseases
    Description Genetic diseases are health problems that plague human society. In this class, students will become more acquainted with genetic diseases and through the use of genetic diagrams, learn how to predict the chances of inheriting a genetic disease. They will also get a chance to role-play as genetic counsellors and employ laboratory techniques to address a case study of genetic disease.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques 
  • Gel electrophoresis techniques
  • Mode of Delivery  Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 3 to Secondary 4/5 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $6.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Amazing Enzymes - The Important Catalysts of Life
    Description Enzymes are life’s work horses. They help the human body in food digestion, speed up biochemical reactions and many other important processes. In this lesson, students will learn what enzymes are, what they are made of and how they work. Through hands-on experiments, students will also get to understand how certain factors can affect the rate of reaction of enzymes and how they can also help scientists in important scientific research studies.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Colorimetric reaction
  • Use of spectrophotometer for quantitative enzyme assay analysis
  • Mode of Delivery  Practical lab session
    Target Audience  Secondary 3 to Pre-U (Intermediate)
    Group size  20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration  3 hours
    Time  9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee  $12.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Bacteria Transformation
    Description Students will learn that genes may be transferred between cells by using a simple procedure to transform bacteria via heat shock. The gene used, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), originated from the bioluminescent jellyfish, Aequorea victoria. This experience will allow students to better appreciate the methods used by scientists to create transgenic organisms. In medical biotechnology, a similar transformation technique has been used to insert a gene for human insulin into bacteria for mass production of insulin. Students will also learn the sterile lab techniques necessary to work with bacteria, including growing bacteria colonies via plating.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Sterile technique / Plating
  • Bacteria transformation (Heat-shock method)
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session
    Target Audience Secondary 3, 4/5 to Pre-U - Intermediate
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 2 hours
    Time 9.30am or 2.30pm
    Course Fee $8.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    Restriction Enzyme Analysis
    Description Students will learn about the importance of restriction enzymes and their role in analysing DNA. They will have the opportunity to practise techniques used in electrophoresis for DNA separation and analysis. We will introduce students to micropipettes and sterile pipetting techniques. Students will understand the concept of electrophoresis and how it separates a mixture of DNA fragments. They will also learn how to predict a DNA fingerprint using restriction maps. Concepts on restriction enzyme analysis will provide the students with the knowledge of such applications.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Preparation of agarose gel and electrophoresis techniques
  • Digestion of DNA with restriction enzymes
  • DNA analysis
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session 
    Target Audience Secondary 3 to Pre-U - Intermediate
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 4.5 hours (full day workshop)
    Time 9.30am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3.00pm
    (including lunch break – food not provided)
    Course Fee $12.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)

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    DNA Barcoding - NEW!
    Description There is a rich biodiversity of plants and animals in our environment but do we know all the plants and animals around us? Could there be a new species of plant growing in our backyard that we have yet to identify? Just as the unique pattern of bars in a universal product code is used to identify a product in the supermarket, a ‘DNA barcode’ is a unique pattern of DNA sequence that identifies each living thing. In this comprehensive 1.5 day lesson, students will get to experience the whole research procedure from DNA extraction to DNA sequencing and analysing the sequence using bioinformatics. Through this procedure, they will learn to identify and catalogue the biodiversity around us by DNA barcoding.
     
    This workshop will only be available on Saturdays and two Saturdays will be required. 
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • DNA extraction and purification
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • DNA sequencing
  • Preparation of agarose gel and electrophoresis techniques
  • Analysis of DNA sequence using bioinformatics
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session and bioinformatics
    Target Audience Pre-U 1 to Pre-U 2 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 1.5 days
    Time Day 1: 9.30am – 5.30pm (inclusive of lunch break, food not provided);
    Day 2: 9.30am - 11.30am  
    Course Fee $50.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies per day to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    Forensic Analysis DNA Profiling
    Description DNA profiling is currently considered the gold standard in forensic science and has been highly popularised by television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Although the current state of the art DNA profiling uses 13 to 16 short tandem repeat (STR) loci in a multiplex PCR format, this experiment pursues the amplification of a single variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) locus, D1S80. Using the information from the experiment, students would work together to solve a 'crime' bearing in mind that maybe one of their classmates could be the potential 'criminal'!  
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • DNA extraction from cheek cells*
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Gel electrophoresis techniques
    * Participants will need to provide their own DNA sample from cheek cells
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session 
    Target Audience Pre-U 1 to Pre-U 2 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 4.5 hours (full day workshop)
    Time 9.30am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3.00pm
    (including lunch break – food not provided)
    Course Fee $20.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    Genetic Engineering: Recombinant DNA Cloning
    Description DNA cloning is a fundamental technique used in various applications such as producing genetically modified food, genetic treatments and in the production of medicines. In this comprehensive two-day lesson, students will get a hands-on experience of the whole recombinant DNA cloning procedure and understand the purpose of each step.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction 
  • DNA purification
  • Digestion of DNA with restriction enzymes
  • Ligation of DNA insert with plasmid
  • Bacteria transformation
  • Blue/white screening
  • Preparation of agarose gel and electrophoresis techniques 
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session 
    Target Audience Pre-U 1 to Pre-U 2 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration Two-day workshop
    Time 9.30am – 5pm  
    (Two-day workshop includes lunch break – food not provided)

    The workshop will only be available during the school holidays. Schools are advised to book early as two consecutive days are required for the workshop.
    Course Fee $50.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies per day to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    Genetically Modified Food - What's your take? 
    Description GM food has made a big splash in the news lately as they are becoming increasingly available at grocery stores in some countries. What exactly are we eating? How are these GM food created? Students will carry out DNA extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to identify the gene region that is commonly used to make GM food. GM food has also stirred a mix of emotions among people, with some accepting them while others labelling them as “Frankenstein” food. Is GM food safe or harmful? Students will explore the insights into the issues of GM food and decide what their take is.   
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • Preparation of agarose gel and electrophoresis techniques
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session 
    Target Audience Pre-U 1 to Pre-U 2 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 4.5 hours (full day workshop)
    Time 9.30am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3.00pm
    (Full day workshop includes lunch break – food not provided)
    Course Fee $20.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    PTC Taste Receptor
    Description Taste recognition is mediated by the presence of taste receptors on the surface of the cells. Individuals with the PTC taste receptor are able to taste PTC, a bitter- tasting compound. In this lesson, students will learn more about the genetic basis of taste and analyse their DNA for the presence of the PTC taste receptor, TAS2R38.
    Practicals
  • Micropipetting techniques
  • DNA extraction from cheek cells*
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Preparation of agarose gel and electrophoresis techniques
  • Digestion of DNA with restriction enzyme 
    * Participants will need to provide their own DNA sample from cheek cells
  • Mode of Delivery Practical lab session 
    Target Audience Pre-U 1 to Pre-U 2 (Intermediate)
    Group size 20 minimum, 40 maximum
    Duration 4.5 hours (full day workshop)
    Time 9.30am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3.00pm
    (Full day workshop includes lunch break – food not provided)
    Course Fee $20.00 (Admission fee to Science Centre applies to Non-Institutional School Members)
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    Beginner – This is suitable for students without  prior knowledge of the subject
    Intermediate – Some prior knowledge of the subject is required to better appreciate the content.