ABOUT THE SET
Unlike most teaching aids, the MIT models are designed to teach what the molecules do, not just what molecules look like. These injection molded molecules are made to be manipulated. In this way educators can teach abstract concepts in concrete ways. Students can perform DNA replication, mRNA transcription, DNA damage, DNA mutation, DNA repair, and more. Abstract molecular concepts become concrete with these models. Diverse populations including English language learners, middle schoolers, and AP biology students all have found the learning experience interesting and memorable.
The set contains:
- 14 DNA/RNA kits
- 14 DNA/RNA Booklet 1: Introduction to Structure and Function
- 14 DNA/RNA Booklet 2: Advanced DNA Topics
- 14 Gene Strips
- 14 Codon Card Packs
- Storage Crate
Click here to watch a video showing student and teacher workshops using our LEGO prototype sets: DNA/RNA, Protein, and tRNA.
TEACHER GUIDES AND VIDEOS
MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Set Teacher Guides:
MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Set videos on our YouTube channel:
The following additional resources are from organizations outside the MIT Edgerton Center. We have found they are excellent supplements to our curriculum and recommend their use with our lessons. Please contact the appropriate outside organization for questions about their resources, website, or proprietary information.
Molecular Workbench Software
Molecular Workbench from the Concord Consortium provides many interactive simulations that pair well with our lessons. From DNA to Proteins and Protein Folding is a collection of 11 interactive simulations about DNA and protein structure, protein synthesis and folding, and sickle cell disease. The Molecular Workbench worksheet and key are available for use with this collection.
Star BioChem Software
Star BioChem is a tool developed at MIT for easy 3-D viewing of proteins from the Protein Data Bank. Use this program with advanced biology students to explore protein structure. The software can be downloaded for free and the Sample Exercises tab includes excellent worksheets on various protein topics, such as hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia, DNA glycosylases, and an introduction to basic macromolecules. All worksheets guide students through use of the software from the beginning.
The DNA Glycosylase Power Point presentation is a great supplement to the DNA damage and repair exercises in our DNA/RNA Booklet 2. The slides explain how DNA repair proteins prevent mutations from occurring by using a common example of 8-oxoguanine as the damaged nucleotide. (This Power Point presentation was authored by Dr. Lourdes Aleman. Kindly credit the slides should you incorporate them into your own presentations.) The DNA Glycosylase Exercise and Key is a sample exercise for the Star BioChem software above. It guides students through use of the software by exploring the structure and function of a human DNA glycosylase in the process of repairing a damaged DNA base.
Additional Environmental Health Science Lessons
Models and Lessons created by Kathleen M. Vandiver. Graphics by Amanda Mayer. ©MIT. All rights reserved.