Amino Acid Starter Kit©

Protein-Folding Kit

Amino Acid Starter Kit©

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This engaging, hands-on protein folding kit makes teaching protein structure basics easy. Your students will fold a protein while exploring how the chemical properties of amino acids determine its final structure.


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Photo Gallery

Chemical Properties Circle



Kit Contents

Amino Acid Starter Kit©





Chemical Properties Circle 1 3 5 6
Amino Acid Side Chain Chart 1 3 5 6
Mini Toober      1 3 5 6
Set of Red and Blue Endcaps 1 3 5 6
Clear Bumpers  22 66 110 132
Amino Acid Side Chains 22 66 110 132
Plastic Clips     23 69 115 138
Hydrogen Bond Connectors 6 18 30 36


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Contents and Assembly Directions

Find information about the contents of your 3D Molecular Designs' Amino Acid Starter Kit© and directions for assembling the pieces so you and your students can start folding proteins.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Introduction

Proteins are large, linear polymers of amino acids that spontaneously fold into complex 3D shapes. Use the Amino Acid Starter Kit in these activities to help teach your student in the classroom.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Teacher Notes

Provide your students with a basic understanding of how proteins fold by focusing on 4 teaching points.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Student Handout 1 and Key

Using engaging tools, your students learn the chemical properties and structure of amino acid side chains, determine a primary sequence and explore tertiary structure by folding a protein with a: hydrophobic core, disulfide bond and hydrophilic amino acids on the surface.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Student Handout 2 and Key

In this next protein folding activity using the Amino Acid Starter Kit, your students will learn about secondary structure by folding an alpha helix and beta sheet to form a zinc finger.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Student Handout 3 and Key

In this third activity, your students will explore enzymes before folding their own active site. They will learn that active sites are formed by amino acids that are far apart in the protein's primary secquence. They also will discover how secondary structure provides stability for the protein to function.


Amino Acid Side Chain Chart©

Your students will use this chart to identify amino acid side chains. It features a dual color scheme for the chemical properties and atomic structure of side chains.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Videos

Explore a variety of videos to help enhance your use of the Amino Acid Starter Kit and classroom study of amino acids and proteins.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Digital Student Modeling Activities

Students can build an amino acid and identify its parts, join amino acids to build a protein chain, identify and sort the 20 different side chains and answer thought questions.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Additional Activities

There are many variations to the basic mini toober 3D protein folding exercise described in Student Handout 1. Examples of variations include reversible denaturation, reverse engineering, and the effects of mutation, among others.


Genetic Codon Chart©

Your students will build a seamless connection between the triplet codon in mRNA and the chemical property of the amino acid it encodes, since this chart features the same color scheme as 3DMD's Amino Acid Side Chain Chart.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Jmol Tutorials

Explore Jmol tutorials on amino acids and protein folding with 3D Molecular Designs' Amino Acid Starter Kit©.


Amino Acid Starter Kit© Next Generation Science Standards

Amino Acid Starter Kit© Connections to: A Framework for K-12 Science Education Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


Product Details

Grade Level

Middle School
High School

Students per Group



Choking Hazard
Science Education Product

List Price

6-Group Set
     $349 (AASK-06)
5-Group Set
     $293 (AASK-05)
3-Group Set
     $185 (AASK-03)
1-Group Set
     $69 (AASK-01)

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Teacher Tips

If a side chain clip falls off the mini toober, just squeeze the ends together for 3 seconds and reattach. 

To extend the life of your mini toober, have your students remove the side chains and endcaps at the end of every activity. 

“I was able to reach all of my students using these models!”

“I can never again teach protein structure without toobers – they make it much easier for students to SEE protein folding!

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