Amino Acid Starter Kit© Teacher Resources

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In the first protein-folding activity, your students will use the Amino Acid Starter Kit© to construct a generic 15-amino acid protein, as they explore the chemical interactions that drive each protein to fold into its specific 3-D shape (primary and tertiary structure). In the second activity, students will learn about the secondary structure of proteins – which consists of alpha helices and/or beta sheets – by folding a mini toober model of the first of 3 zinc fingers of the Zif268 protein. The third activity will introduce students to protein enzymes as they model an active site – the region where chemical reaction takes place. Finally, numerous variations on the initial mini toober-folding exercise will help you demonstrate reversible denaturation, reverse engineering, and the effects of mutation.

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