Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

DNA Profiling: The Great Escape

Farmer Jamie needs your help to find a mischievous sheep. Can you use evidence from the farm and DNA profiling to solve the mystery?

Learning Level: S3 - S4 

Location: Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus, EH25 9RG

Minimum attendance: 16*

Maximum attendance: 24

Duration: 4.5

Timings: 10am - 2.30pm

Cost: £5 per pupil

Availability: Our secondary programme will be released Autumn 2024, to remain updated about our workshops, events and exciting opportunities please  sign up to our mailing list and/or follow us on Twitter @EBSOClab. In the meantime, why not check out our classroom resources that are free to download!

* If your numbers are below 16, please let us know and we will do our best to twin you with another group.

Workshop Description

Farmer Jamie owns a small herd of Shetland sheep. During the past few weeks, they have escaped several times from their paddock, each time breaking the fence and causing havoc on the rest of the farm. Jamie needs your help to discover the identity of the mischievous sheep using clues from the scene of the escape and DNA profiling to compare the DNA of five sheepy suspects.

Today was an eye-opening experience, it allowed me to experience something new.

Secondary pupil, GlasgowAge 16

Learning Objectives

  • To understand DNA structure and function
  • To understand that there are some characteristics that we cannot see and that DNA technology can reveal
  • To understand that we can identify individuals using DNA profiling
  • To understand how restriction enzymes cut DNA
  • To interpret and discuss experimental results

Techniques used

  • Micro-pipetting
  • Restriction digest
  • DNA gel electrophoresis

Workshop timeline

  • Analysis of sheep fleece from the scene of the escape
  • Introduction to micropipettes
  • Restriction digest of DNA samples
  • Introduction to DNA profiling and DNA fragment analysis
  • DNA electrophoresis using agarose gels
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
  • Discussion linked to workshop topic

Curriculum Links 

Level 3
Level 4

I have explored the role of technology in monitoring health and improving life quality. SCN 3-12b 

I can express an informed view of the risks and benefits of DNA profiling. SCN 3-14b

I can use my understanding of how characteristics are inherited to solve simple genetic problems and relate this to my understanding of DNA, genes and chromosomes. SCN 4-14C
National 4
National 5

Key Area 2 - DNA, genes and chromosomes

Key Area 3 - Therapeutic use of cells

Key Area 4 - Properties of enzymes and their use in industries

Key Area 8 Controversial biological procedures

Unit 3 DNA and the production of proteins - Structure of DNA

Unit 4 ProteinsProtein structure, Enzymes and Enzyme conditions

Unit 4 Variation and inheritance - Discrete variation (single gene inheritance), Understanding of genetic terms:

gene; allele; phenotype; genotype; dominant; recessive; homozygous; heterozygous and P, F1 and F2

Higher Biology (2018-2019)
Higher Human Biology (2018-2019)
DNA and the Genome
Human Cells

The structure of DNA 


Gene expression - Phenotype is determined by the proteins produced as a result of the gene expression.  

Structure and replication of DNA 

The structure of the genome The genome of an organism is its entire hereditary information encoded in DNA. 

Gene expressionPhenotype is determined by the proteins produced as the result of gene expression. 
Sustainability and interdependence 
Human genomics
Plant and animal breeding - Genetic technology  The genome of an organism is its entire heredtary information encoded in DNA.
Animal welfare - Animcal welfare in livestock production   

Developing the Young Workforce – “I can” statements 

The following "I can" statements are supported through EBSOC’s workshops: 

  • I can demonstrate and apply the skills I have learnt across the curriculum in relation to the world of work.

  • I can demonstrate diverse thinking when exploring learning opportunities and pathways.

  • I can investigate and assess ethical issues in business and trade decisions.


Thank you for your interest in this workshop, this academic year we will not be offering this workshop as part of our learning programme. Why not check out classroom resources that are free to download!


Important Notes

*  Please contact us ebsoc@ed.ac.uk if your group falls below the minimum as we may be able to accommodate your request

    through our small groups waiting list. 


Downloadable Recources

Risk Assessment 
Workshop Description 


I was actually interested with what was going on and really enjoyed the lab work.

Secondary Biology Pupil


We got to do different things we don't usually do in science class.

Secondary Biology Pupil