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SEPGuides: Science Education Partnership: Gel Electrophoresis Kit

SEPGuides is the go-to place for all SEP kit protocols and activities, as well as the posting area for announcements and program updates. If something is missing or you have an idea to contribute, please e-mail us at

Laminated Protocol Cards

MiniOne Protocols

Information about the MiniOne System, protocols, and labs can be found on the MiniOne Page.


How to Pack a Gel Crate Like a Pro!

Yes, Gel Kit crates can be a pain in the . . . But! There's hope. Here are three guides, one for each crate. If items just aren't behaving, it's better to put them in a separate container (box, grocery bag) and bring them in that way. We would rather have them returned separate and intact, rather than together, smooshed and broken.

Extra Resources

Here is a very cool time lapse video of gel electrophoresis in action, courtesy of retired SEP teacher and current RV explorer extraordinaire Aram Langhans.

Aram used the FlashGel System, created by Cambrex, and the actual running time was only 5 minutes. More info

Kit Description

Gel electrophoresis is a commonly use tool for separating macromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins) and their fragments based on size, shape, and charge. This kit allows students to use this technique to analyze the dyes used in sample loading buffers and DNA fragments.

  • SEP has 12 Gel Electrophoresis Kits and 2 Equipment-only KitsTypes Micropipets for Each Gel Kit
  • Each Gel Kit has 3 crates.
  • Don't forget your Freezer Box!
  • Labs are designed for classes of 32 students. (Make sure to tell us if your class is significantly different in size.)
  • The Gel Kits can support any of these labs.
    • Measure for Measure
    • Electrophoresis Exploration
    • Dye/Indicator Lab
    • DNA Lab 1: Precut DNA
      • DNA Lab 1 (forensics)
    • DNA Lab 2: DNA Restriction Enzyme Digest
    • *Elephant Conservation (requires additional reservation of the Elephant Trunk)

Save Time in the Lab

A significant reduction in gel electrophoresis running time can be achieved by decreasing the concentration of the running buffer (TAE) and increasing the voltage:

  • Decrease the running buffer from 1X to 0.25X
  • Increase the voltage from 100V to 200V
  • Reduce your running time from 45 minutes to 20 minutes.


  • Make the agarose with 1X TAE NOT the 0.25X running buffer
  • Do NOT run the gel longer than 20 minutes.

If you exceed 20 minutes the gel will melt.

Under these conditions, the top edge of the gel (where the wells are located) may begin to melt a bit, but this should not impact the visualization of DNA fragments.

- Tip courtesy of Essy Levy of Bio-Rad


We recommend soaking the gel in 100 X Fast Blast for 3 minutes. Then rinse well (but carefully!) several times. It takes several rinses and some time to clear the background stain, but this process gives really great results. You can leave the gel destaining in a little water overnight and see really beautifully stained bands in the morning.

Clip Art

These downloadable clip art images can be used for creating your own resources.

Microtube 250ul


Microtube Volumes

Downloadable clipart of microtubes filled with various quantities of liquid to help teachers and students "eyeball" different amounts.






Illustrations covering the different types of micropipets (Gilson/Rainin, Ulster and Oxford) included in SEP kits.




Gel Electrophoresis

Basic illustrations of the Dye Lab and Gel Lab protocols.


Micropipet Certified StickersMicropipet Certified Stamp

This image can be used as a stamp or sticker given to students for learning proper micropipetting techiniques.