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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Polymerase Chain Reaction

Learning Exercise: Polymerase Chain Reaction

Polymerase Chain Reaction
This module introduces the math behind PCR reactions and precedes a second module on quantitative PCR. The PCR reaction is best described as an exponential growth function.
Course: Molecular Biology


Submitted by:
Scott Cooper
Date Last Modified:
September 29, 2009


There are two files. The first is a powerpoint tutorial that students can use to generate a spreadsheet simulating PCR amplification. The second is an excel spreadsheet with the finished product.
Additional Information:



  • College Upper Division
  • Graduate School


Polymerase Chain Reaction

Learning Objectives

The goal of this module is to introduce the basic mathematics that describes exponential growth. Students should become familiar with using spread sheets to calculate rate of growth.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental Activity
  • Unsupervised


There are embedded pre and post-assessment tools in the powerpoint.