Engineer-it Kit™: Get started with Genetic Engineering for bacteria (bacterial transformation kit)

DNA Color
About the Engineer-it Kit™
Full STEAM ahead with the Engineer-it Kit. Add DNA from sea creatures to bacteria and see them change color!

This kit contains all the ingredients needed for bacterial transformation using one of 10 colors of DNA. 

Learn genetic engineering and bacterial transformation hands-on using an Engineer-it Kit. Great as a bacterial transformation lab in schools. At the end of this life science project, you'll have grown and engineered bacteria to produce something for you -- a colorful bio-pigment!

After you’ve completed the Engineer-it Kit, you can use follow-on kits, like the Keep-it Kit to save your work, or Plate Extract-it Kit to break open the cells to extract your engineered creation. A perfect way for beginners and experts alike to do fun and safe biotechnology experiments at home, in the classroom, the makerspace, community center, or in a local biohacking DIYbio lab!

This bacterial transformation kit and the Engineer-it kit virtual simulator form the core of the hands-on experiment in Chapter 4 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The beginner's guidebook. The fundamentals section of Chapter 4 teaches you about cell theory, DNA plasmids, and how bacteria read and write DNA programs. Learn about Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero, the world's first beginner's guide to programming biology, and the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero learning journey!

If you haven't already, you may want to consider starting with the Canvas Kit, a fun bioart kit to learn how to grow cells, which is the basis for Chapter 3 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero. Once you've grown cells, you should move on to the Engineer-it Kit to complete your first genetic engineering experiment! 

You can also have a look at our course on Udemy, which will guide you through the Engineer-it Kit experience and provides confidence, context, and theory. 

Unsure what biotechnology and genetic engineering are? Have a look at our short"What is Biotechnology? Genetic Engineering?" post. And remember, no prior knowledge or skills are necessary to get started with Amino Labs beginner's biotechnology kits!  

 discover amino labs success guarantee for all home science experiment kits in biotechnology, diy bio

Learn and practice your genetic engineering, bioart and living art skills while discovering the answers to the most common biology, biotechnology, bioart, life science, biohacking and genetic engineering questions.

What will you learn?

During this biotechnology/genetic engineering experiment, you will learn how to use DNA programs (called plasmids) to make with biology.

The steps for this experiment are:
1. Make selective & non-selective agar,
2. pour Petri dishes,
3. streak bacteria,
4. make bacteria chemically competent,
5. engineer bacteria using pigment-producing DNA plasmid (this is called a bacterial transformation),
6. create positive and negative controls,
7. incubate,
8. view/analyze your results!

What's included?

(1) Engineer-it Kit in Individual or Group size: Sterile water, 6cm Petri dish, LB agar, selection marker, ‘blank’ bacteria stab, transformation buffer, recovery media, positive control bacteria stab, DNA plasmid, streaking stencils, inactivation bag.

• Individual Kits: An individual kit with all the ingredients needed for completing one entire science experience. Great for an individual, family, or a small group — best results using a DNA Playground home or large.

• Full Rainbow (Individual Kits): 10 individual kits with all the ingredients needed for completing one entire science experience in each DNA color we have available. Great for an individuals, groups and classrooms — best results using a DNA Playground home or large.

• Classroom/Group Kits: Eight individually packaged kits with the needed ingredients to complete eight entire science experiences. One shared resource bag contains the bacteria, 1 DNA program (plasmid), and inactivation bags, which are shared between all participants. Great for the classroom, advanced AP biology, science fair projects, and iGEM teams. Each of the eight experiments can be done individually or in groups of up to 4— best results using 2 DNA Playgrounds Large.

• Instructions: a manual with easy-to-understand vocabulary and step-by-step procedures and an online experiment simulation to practice with, teach you fundamentals, and guide you along the way. Available online. See the Resources section below for the links!

What else is needed?

To complete this experiment, you will need to have access to either the DNA Playground or, if you have your own laboratory equipment, a 37°C incubator, a hot water bath, crushed ice & ice bucket. You can also have a look at the instruction manual to learn how to make your own hot water bath/incubator. Note that your experiment result will vary based on how reliable your own homemade equipment is.

Cleaning and safety supplies are not included in the kit. Necessary safety and cleaning supplies are latex or nitrile gloves, and a chlorinated bleach cleaner or a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach in a spray bottle (you can make this by adding 9 parts water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). You can add a Mini Safety Set to your kit which includes gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect your clothes.

For more information about safety, set up and clean up, you can have a look at the instruction manual for the experiment linked in the Ressources section below, and at the "Practicing safe science" page.

Storage & Shipping

Shipping Times

Experiment kits are shipped 1-10 working days after you place your order. If you require yours for a specific date or event, please contact us before or with your order # so that we can try to make it happen for you! ☺︎ 


For the best results, and the longest shelf life possible, refrigerate the kit(s) upon arrival. You'll find a "Best by" date on the kit's label. This date assumes you've refrigerated your kit upon arrival.

For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us