Sequencing By Synthesis Activities


Our sequencer uses a modified PCR reaction to determine an unknown sequence by building the complementary strand out of fluorescently marked nucleotides. The process used can be taught to students in varying amounts of detail and all the activities on this page can be modified to suite the level of your students.

Example of the Block Model as used at the 2016 USA Science and Engineering Festival


Next Generation Science Standards

Bold standards covered by at least one of the activities, italic standards can be covered by expanding the activities.

Science and Engineering Practices

Materials and Links

Overview of Sequencing Types powerpoint
Sequencing By Synthesis Lesson powerpoint
Sequence Processing Lesson powerpoint


Block Model

Simple puzzle to demonstrate how base pairing is used to identify an unknown sequence by building the complementary strand.


Guided Discussion

Students review the process of DNA replication used in PCR and use that knowlege to determine what modifications need to be made for sequencing.


Modeling Activity

Students act out the process of sequencing by synthesis, taking on the roles of different components.