Workshop 2

DNA Workshop for Pre-U Students

Jointly organized by Department of Biological Sciences and the 46th NUS Life Sciences Society, and supported by NUS Young Educators in Science (Life Sciences Focus Group).

Date:  1 June 2020 (Monday)
Duration/Time: One day / 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: Life Sciences Lab(s) , Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Relevance of the workshop to H2 Biology

Some core ideas in the H1 and H2 Biology syllabus are included in the workshop.  They are:

  • Organelles and cellular structures
  • Biomolecules of Life
  • The Structure of Nucleic Acids
  • Organization of Genomes

Why attend the DNA workshop?

Molecular laboratory work is very important to most biologist. Yet, it is often only dealt with in theory in most schools. In this workshop, students will get hands-on experience with laboratory work involving the extraction and separation of DNA.

Lessons learnt in school will come to life as DNA is no longer an abstract word in a text book, but a substance visible and suspended in a tube. After the workshop, students will have a better understanding of molecular biology, and able to appreciate the immense work put in by scientists whose impactful discoveries are found in their textbooks.

What is the content of the workshop?

The table below summarizes the sequence of events in the workshop.

What do students learn in the workshop?

Students will be taught theory and practical skills, guided by our own NUS science undergraduates, postgraduates and technical staff.

Some of the relevant skills taught are listed below:

  • Using an adjustable pipette to extract and dispense very small volumes of solution (as little as 2µL)
  • Both traditional and modern techniques of DNA extraction (alcohol precipitation and column purification)
  • Using spectrophotometer to quantitate amount and gauge purity of extracted nucleic acid
  • Performing gel electrophoresis and analysing the different DNA bands
  • To link theory or rationale with each step in the protocol, and use it to explain the results obtained
  • If the experiment goes awry, students can learn how to analyse their results and discover for themselves where they have gone wrong.  These are important and basic skills of troubleshooting.

How long will the workshop take?

A day.

Students would extract genomic and plasmid DNA before lunch. After lunch, they will run gel electrophoresis and analyse the results.

Who is eligible?

Pre-university students from local junior colleges or private schools.

When to register?

By 17 April 2020.  Send the completed REGISTRATION FORM to

Steven Tan (Mr)
Tel: 6516 2693

Workshop Fee:

$60/pax. Successful applicants will receive confirmation of their participation along with instructions on mode of payment by 30 April 2020.