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Mr. Van Arsdale from Eagle River AK is requesting supplies through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Putting the DNA in our DNA Fingerprint

My students need DNA, enzymes and agarose gel, as well as more micro-pipets.

  • $1,072 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Forensic science is best learned at the lab bench, where students can approach a crime scene mystery, with a scientific approach. Wrapping hard core science with a veil of forensic mystery is a proven technique to motivate kids in a STEM field who have never liked or done well in science.

I teach at a school of nine hundred students in Alaska.

About half of my students have lived in Alaska all of their lives. The other half, almost all military transfers, have been in the state for less than two years. My classroom is a melting pot of students who have a deep sense of place, but little sense of the world and students who have a wide sense of the world but very little sense of place. Some come from far away and others have never left home. They are mixed in ethnicity, income, and family beliefs. Most have chosen the class because they don't like science and are afraid of the challenges that physics and chemistry might bring.

My Project

Over the last few years, I have been able to use several grants to purchase the equipment needed to do gel electrophoresis (ie. DNA fingerprinting) in my forensic science classes. Moving to a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to teaching Gel Electrophoresis and DNA technology has significantly improved the level of academic achievement that I saw in the DNA unit. As part of this newly re-designed unit, I was even able to bring into my class as a guest lecturer the stat CODIS supervisor from the Alaska State Crime Lab. The students benefited from the school-to-work connections made between the crime lab and the lab work they were doing in class.

This grant will pay for the consumable materials involved with a DNA fingerprinting lab.

These materials represent a significant expense to my classroom each year. The grant purchases DNA, enzymes, agarose gel as well as more micro-pipets that will enable me to increase the number of students actually doing hands-on work as part of the lab.

Mr. Van Arsdale
Grades 9-12

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Exploring Electrophoresis and Forensics Replacement Kit • Carolina Biological Supply Company $153.00 3 $459.00
Fixed-Volume 10 L (0.1 L) MiniPipet • Carolina Biological Supply Company $34.15 7 $239.05
Micropipet Tips, Yellow, Nonsterile, Bulk, 1-200 L, Bag of 1,000 • Carolina Biological Supply Company $48.55 1 $48.55

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Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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