Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

PCR Simulation Activity

A paper-based PCR simulation activity to reinforce how PCR works - free to download and use in your classroom.

About this activity

The PCR workshop that we run at the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, A Question of Taste, enables upper secondary pupils to extract their own DNA and use PCR, a restriction digest and gel electrophoresis to compare their ability to taste a bitter compound (phenotype) to their version of a taste receptor gene (genotype). 

A Question of Taste was initially developed by At-Bristol (now We The Curious), Centre for Life and the Nowgen Centre, with funding from the Wellcome Trust. It was later rolled out across the UK as part of a project called Hands-on DNA, run by the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres, that trained and equipped science centres, museums and universities across the UK to run the workshop, allowing school pupils to get hands-on experience of PCR and other molecular biology techniques.

The workshop also includes a number of teaching resource and you can download a paper-based PCR simulation activity from the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres website, and use it with your pupils to reinforce how PCR works.

Curriculum themes

Biology, DNA, genetics, laboratory skills


If you use this classroom resource please show us by tweeting @EBSOClab 

If you have any questions about this resource please email ebsoc@ed.ac.uk.


To download this activity please click download. You will be redirected to a short (1 minute) questionnaire to find out about how you intend to use this free resource. We will not request any personal information.


Download PCR Simulation Activity


Additional materials required:


Sticky tape