Biotechnology Club Starter Set™

About the Biotech Club Starter Set™

Interested in starting an after-school club that is different than typical programming and robotics clubs? Biology is an amazing technology platform that impacts the lives of billions of people every day. Have your club focus on learning and innovating in the world of biotechnology. While you may not have any experience in this space, this Biotechnology Club Starter Set will enable you and your team to learn the basic fundamentals and hands-on skills of genetic engineering. This strong foundation can be extended into your own projects of interest. 

This kit can be used to lay a foundation before competing in iGEM, Biodesign, BIOMOD, BioBuilder, or GOGEC, or can simply be a great avenue to create innovative science fair projects or apply biotechnology to make something inspiring. 

Amino Labs has designed its products so you don't need an expert to get going, rather, just like the many software and robotics kits and books, you can learn as you go. This Starter Set starts with basic skills and concepts, then builds upon those step by step until you have as much or more experience than a university student! 

    What will you learn?

    Introduction: Take the Genetic Engineers’ Pledge

    Chapter 1 - Isolating DNA, the Blueprints of Life:

    • extract and see real genomic DNA from strawberries using the DNA extraction kit,
    • assemble a DNA structure utilizing a drag and drop simulator,
    • discover 'What is DNA?', 'What is DNA's function?', and 'What is DNA made of?',
    • learn about the history of DNA, its evolution, the road to precisely editing DNA and its future,
    • understand how DNA can be used in biotechnology to create products,
    • understand how atoms, molecules, macromolecules (nucleic acid), and nucleotides come into play.


    Chapter 2 - Safety & setting up your Genetic Engineering Hero Space

    • learn about the 4 Biosafety levels & how to stay safe & responsible during your biotechnology science projects,
    • discover the rules & regulations in biotechnology,
    • set up your own lab - What type of laboratory equipment is necessary? What kind of locations can be used for a safe & responsible biotechnology lab,
    • learn how to inactivate your biotechnology science experiments and clean up your laboratory, 
    • download a laboratory safety checklist, a biosafety poster, and a biosecurity poster,
    • understand the ethics, lab safety & best practices surrounding genetic engineering and biotechnology.


    Chapter 3 - Growing E. coli cells

    • grow colorful, friendly lab-strain of bacteria and use it to make bioart  in a virtual simulator and then in real-life using the Canvas kit (optional hands-on),
    • learn the difference between safe laboratory E. coli vs. ‘bad’ E. coli and its history,
    • learn 'What is a cell?'
    • tour the cell structure using the  Cells as (micro) factories analogy - a comparison between factories and cells.
    • discover the role of macromolecules: carbs, lipids, proteins


    Chapter 4 - Genetic Engineering your E. coli cells

    • engineer bacteria (cells) with a pre-made DNA program in a virtual simulator and then in real-life using the Engineer-it kit (optional hands-on),
    • learn the primary operating environment of a cell,
    • start understanding how cells read DNA: How do cells know how to start, do and stop reading DNA (transcription),
    • discover 'What is a gene?' 
    • find out what DNA plasmids are and how to use them in biotechnology.


    During this STEM biotechnology journey, you will learn how to use bacteria and DNA to make with biology. Once you are done, you will have completed the first part of the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero's journey; genetically engineering bacteria with DNA plasmids! From there, you can continue your Genetic Engineering Hero journey with Chapters 5, 6, and 7 to learn about advanced biotechnology concepts and skills like enzymes, genetic switches, DNA plasmid maps, and more! 

    View the full learning journey here.

    What's included?

    Starter set content:

    • (1) DNA Playground Large - the Genetic Engineering all-in-one minilab

    • (1) Group Canvas Kit - Eight (8) experiences to learn how to work with cells and incubate cells.

    • (1) Group Engineer-it kit - Eight (8) experiences to practice your team's necessary skills, including inserting DNA in bacteria (transformation experiment). These kits can also be used to create your own competent cells and transform your DNA plasmids. Experiment kits come with one color-expressing DNA plasmid.

    • (1) Junior R&D Kit - Eight (8) kits to do transformations using your own DNA, or to use with the Engineer-it Kit DNA.

    • (4) Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginner's Guide to Programming Bacteria - for the team to learn the basics of genetic engineering, an essential skillset for winning iGEM.

    • Access to the online course Hands-on Biology Lab Skills at home, Real-world project, a seven-lecture course covering theory, and lab-skill basics using the DNA Playground and Engineer-it kit. Course by IGEM 2007 alumni and Cambridge University Ph.D. graduate Justin Pahara. (optional)

    • (1) 20-minute Q&A session with an Amino Labs' scientist over video or phone conference.

    • Instructions: manuals with easy-to-understand vocabulary and step-by-step procedures.

    What else is needed?

    All the required laboratory and science equipment is included in this pack.

    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.

    If your experiment kits stay at room temperature before you collect it from your mailbox/mailroom/etc, that's ok! As long as kits do not freeze, and they are stored in a refrigerator if you are not using it right away, there's no need to worry. If you do not have access to a refrigerator to store your kit, use it as soon as possible, and place it in a cool dark place until use.

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