Teacher Tester Kit™: All-in-one practice pack

About Teacher Tester Kit™

The Teacher Tester is a kit pack that brings together everything a science, STEM/STEAM or visual arts teacher needs to get started with using hands-on biology exercises as a fun and engaging part of their class. This kit pack enables teachers with no expertise or experience in life science research to test, learn, and practice hands-on STEM or STEAM biology in their classrooms!

Teachers around the world who once thought this subject daunting and too complex are now using these kits with up to 120 student groups to bring engaging and real-world experiences to their classrooms. Moreover, Amino Labs is seeing teachers of different disciplines collaborate and cross-cut with biology (e.g. visual art and biology).

With this Teacher Tester Kit Pack and Amino Labs biotechnology products in general, you do not need to have a dedicated lab space. The DNA Playground Large can be easily stored on a shelf or in a cabinet, freeing up the desk or bench space for other class activities. 

Biotechnology has become a rapidly growing global industry. Now is an excellent time for students to learn hands-on biology through engaging exercises. These exercises can spark student interest in a viable and lucrative career path. This applies to both students interested in science and engineering, but also students interested in art and design - as the biotechnology industry continues to grow and diversify, artists and designers are increasingly needed to communicate new science ideas to the public, develop product descriptions, and in the area of speculative design and science fiction writing, to inspire and direct biotechnology itself!

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

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?

• (1x) Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero book
Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero: The Beginner's Guide to Programming Bacteria at Home, School & in the Makerspace is a 186-page book with over 130 color illustrations that take educators and students through a journey of exploring biology through fun and engaging hands-on activities.

Use the book as an enriched substitute for instruction manuals. Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero includes “Going Deeper” and “Pro-tip” sections throughout the exercises, which give the reader more context about the hands-on activity. The Fundamentals sections in each chapter cover an important subject that relates to and are “anchored by” the hands-on exercise. Each chapter also concludes with questions that the students can answer to demonstrate their understanding of the subjects explored in the chapter.

Chapter 2 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero guides you through setting up your “lab” environment as well as the basic safety suggestions.

• (1x) DNA Playground Large (Chapter 2)
DNA Playground is a new kind of lab equipment that is specially designed for those just learning about biotechnology, molecular biology, and genetic engineering. The DNA Playground enables fun and engaging genetic engineering experiments and includes a “cold station”, which, eliminates the need to source ice and ice buckets, a hot station, which removes the need for a hot water bath and a thermometer, and a petri dish incubator that can hold up to eight Petri dishes (6 cm) for incubating your cells.

The 3-in-1 nature of the DNA Playground highly simplifies getting the equipment for doing these fun, and engaging exercises reduce the cost compared to buying traditional lab equipment, and lowers the setup and clean up time. Moreover, these units take only seconds to turn off, unplug, and store away in a cupboard for next time - this means you do not need a dedicated lab space to set up and maintain the equipment.

Each DNA Playground Large can host up to four groups of students doing the Canvas Kit or Engineer-it Kit exercises. Typically a classroom will require between two and four DNA Playground Large, depending on the student group sizes.

• (2x) DNA Extraction Kits (Chapter 1)
Doing a hands-on experiment where you actually get to see real DNA emerge from a strawberry is surprising and delightful. This hands-on exercise is an engaging and sticky activity that is a great anchor for learning some fundamentals about DNA, which are included in the second half of Chapter 1 of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero. Fundamental concepts in Chapter 1 include evolution, the structure of DNA and chemical elements that are the building blocks of living things, the vocabulary often used to describe DNA (genes, genome, chromosomes, etc.), and the use of DNA in industry.

The only ingredient that needs to be acquired separately is a bottle of rubbing alcohol (70%-99%), which can be found at a local pharmacy, grocery store, or already in your home/school.

• (2x) Canvas Kits (Chapter 3)
Watching bacteria cells grow and change color is an ah-ha moment that leaves a lasting impression with students. What do bacteria colonies look like? What do bacteria eat and grow on? Students learn how to make LB agar Petri dishes and learn how to streak cells, a technique that is very important in research labs around the world.

Further, students also get to create BioArt by “painting” with the bacteria on Petri dishes and watch the living canvases emerge by incubating them. BioArt is an emerging field of art that is being researched and explored in the top art and design universities such as the Royal College of Art in London, and Parson’s School of Design in New York.

The Fundamentals section of Chapter 3 in Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero covers the structure of a bacterium cell and takes the students through a tour of a bacterium cell. The four macromolecules of living organisms are discussed, and it emerges that cells are like micro-factories and are made of “molecular mash-ups” of the four macromolecules of living organisms.

• (2x) Engineer-it Kits (Chapter 4)
What is genetic engineering? How does it work? The students make their own LB agar Petri dishes, streak “blank cells,”, and then get to engineer blank cells with a DNA plasmid that causes the cells to express a color-producing gene. This is called a transformation experiment and is a fundamental technique in the world of life science research. This is likened to the “Hello World!” of computer programming.

The Fundamentals of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Chapter 4 begin covering how the cells start to read DNA, and the concept of a gene starts to emerge. Students learn the “basic operating environment of a cell” and learn that cells cannot think, but instead, it is chemistry that dictates how the cells operate. Transcription is the primary topic of Chapter 4 Fundamentals, and the students learn how cells know how to start reading DNA (start transcription), do transcription, and stop transcription.

If you want to cover the translation of RNA into proteins, this is the topic of Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero Chapter 5, which also has a fun and engaging hands-on exercise - the Plate Extract-it Kit

• (1x) Safety Set - Starter
This safety set includes one plastic apron that can be used as a lab coat and 5 medium pairs of nitrile gloves to get you started.

What else is needed?

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

This kit pack comes with the Mini Safety Set which includes the necessary safety supplies: nitrile gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect clothing.

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! ☺︎ 


The experiment kit(s) must be refrigerated upon arrival for best shelf life. 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

Starting a club or iGEM team

Starting a new "Synbio" or "Biotech" club can be intimidating. Have no fear! With this kit pack, our free resources and the Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero book as your guide, you will also be able to lead a new iGEM, BioMod, Tech Future Challenge, or BioDesign team to success, even with no prior synthetic biology and genetic engineering.

“This book [Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero] is the perfect learning journey to learning the basics of engineering bacteria. From covering DNA to extracting proteins that you’ve engineered the bacteria to create and even control genetic circuits. These are the topics you need to know before you start innovating on your iGEM project”. - Kristi Turton, undergraduate student at the University of Lethbridge in Canada and advisor to the Lethbridge High School iGEM team.

While this kit pack covers Chapters 1 to 4 only, these are the foundational skills and concepts you will need to get started. From here, you will be easily able to move on to the more advanced experiments and topics of Chapters 5 to 7, and finally to our new DNA Technology learning journey which includes Gel electrophoresis, PCR, and building DNA plasmids. Don't worry, we can help you along the way. Start here first!