Use the Molecules of Life Placemat and the accompanying models to explore the following concepts:
Each of the structures featured is essential to sustain life.
Large complex biomolecules are composed of smaller building block units.
The biomolecules featured on the placemat and accompanying models are magnified 20 million times.
The size of atoms remains constant in all molecules. For example, oxygen (shown in red) remains the same size whether it is in a nucleotide, amino acid, starch, phospholipid or water.
Each polymer model has 1 monomer highlighted in green to help your students see the repeating pattern. For example, the DNA model has 1 nucleotide colored green and cellulose model has 1 glucose molecule colored green.
The 3-D molecular models sit on a 24” x 19” laminated placemat that includes a description of each 3-D structure. The entire set includes 17 spacefill models: 1 DNA, 2 adenosine monophosphate, 1 aquaporin, 2 asparagines, 1 cell membrane, 2 phospholipids, 1 starch, 1 glycogen, 1 cellulose, 2 glucose, 1 ice structure and 2 water molecules. All models are built to the same scale — 20 million times their real size.
Models are made of plaster by rapid prototyping and should be handled with care. Models will break if dropped, held tightly or handled roughly.