COVID-19 has created a challenge to our traditional school system. Teachers have been adapting to online platforms, with our nation's science teachers actively pursuing virtual labs and simulations. These hands-on labs are integral to the development of young scientific minds. With that in mind, Cognitive Consulting has partnered with Somers School District in New York to donate MiniOne Electrophoresis Systems. These portable DNA electrophoresis units provide alternative activities for students in a distance learning environment. These units will enable eLearners to participate in hands on, engaging activities with supplies and equipment that are safe and feasible to transport and disinfect for use at home. This encourages students to continue developing knowledge and skills while helping them to achieve their educational milestones despite potential changes in their learning environment. Tools like these enable educators to guide and adapt to changing environments while continuing to reinforce the in-demand, transferable skills students need to thrive in an evolving world.
Each unit can deliver the complete hands-on electrophoresis experience with real-time visualization of results in about 45 minutes. The system combines agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA band visualization into one compact package that is easy and safe to use. Students can make and load gels, view DNA bands separating, and take pictures from their mobile device for lab reports. There are several applications of electrophoresis in a typical biology curriculum such as forensics, DNA fingerprinting, human genetics and investigation of a foodborne outbreak. They can also be used in any course that wishes to add an inquiry-based and visually engaging connection to modern biotechnology.