Your DNA Fingerprint

Parental Consent Form  is required.

Description of the Activity

The purpose of this experiment is to examine DNA polymorphisms as they pertain to DNA fingerprinting for forensic purposes and genetic diagnosis. Students take a sample of their DNA with the use of saline mouthwash and amplify a specific region using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The amplified samples will be run on gel electrophoresis, and the resulting banding patterns will be used to compare the results among the class.


  • Identify the structure and function of DNA
  • Define genetic polymorphism and comprehend how this is exploited for forensic applications
  • Explain the process of PCR
  • Learn how specific pieces of an individual’s genome can be isolated and used for genetic examination
  • Understand the physics of gel electrophoresis
  • Learn techniques for collecting, transferring and loading micro amounts of liquid materials

Meets SC Content Standards