MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Sets
  • Model DNA double helix
  • Teacher Workshop
  • DNA/RNA Booklet 1

Available now! 

Download the flyer about the MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Sets available now.

Set Overview

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. Click here for information about the LEGO prototype versions of our DNA/RNA, Protein, and tRNA Sets.

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

Note: The DNA/RNA Sets are newly available! If you are interested in purchasing, email edgerton-k12-info@mit.edu.  If you'd like to register your interest in our upcoming Protein or tRNA sets, please fill out the interest form. If you have taught with our sets, please fill out the Feedback Report for Teachers Currently Using the DNA and Protein Sets. These teacher evaluation responses are required by the agencies funding the projects at MIT. Note that the Safari browser may not display either of these forms correctly. Please use Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer instead.

Informational Video

This video shows student and teacher workshops using our LEGO prototype sets: DNA/RNA, Protein, and tRNA.

Teacher Guides

New MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA Set Teacher Guides:

For additional resources and guides, visit our LEGO prototype sets webpage

Teaching Videos

Click below to watch DNA/RNA Set videos on our YouTube channel:

Student Booklets and Laminates

Click below to see samples of our booklets and laminated materials:

Additional Resources on DNA Repair and Glycosylases

​The below resources pair well with the DNA damage and repair activities included in DNA/RNA Booklet 2.

  • Office presentation icon Introduction to Glycosylases
    Teacher Notes: This PowerPoint can be used as a standalone component. The PPT explains how DNA repair proteins prevent mutations from occurring by using a common example of 8 oxoguanine as the damaged nucleotide. It is recommended that teachers use the PPT to introduce the concept of DNA repair prior to working with the Star BioChem DNA glycosylase exercise below. This PPT was authored by Dr. Lourdes Aleman. Kindly credit the slides should you incorporate them into your own presentations.
  • PDF icon DNA Glycosylase Exercise
    This 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.  This exercise is appropriate for advanced high school biology students and undergraduate biology courses.
  •  Additional Teacher Resources
    Additional teacher resources for this exercise.

Molecular Workbench Software

The Molecular Workbench Activity, "From DNA to Proteins and Protein Folding," is online at http://workbench.concord.org/database/activities/324.html.

The above link will take you to 11 interactive lessons about DNA and protein structure, protein synthesis and folding, and sickle cell disease. In this version, modified for MIT by the Concord Consortium, the colors on the screen will match the colors of the  nucleotides A, C, T, G. Having the colors of the models be consistent across all the different multimedia representations can be very helpful.

Star BioChem Software

  • Visit http://star.mit.edu/biochem/problemsets/index.html for many 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.

Links to Related Environmental Health Science Lessons

Contact us if you would like to learn about our next teacher workshop.

Models and Lessons created by Kathleen M. Vandiver.  Graphics by Amanda Mayer.  ©MIT. All rights reserved.