ABOUT THE PROTEIN 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 build and fold proteins, learn about hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions, demonstrate all 4 levels of protein structure, create models of proteins they know like hemoglobin and antibodies, and more. Diverse populations including English language learners, middle schoolers, and AP biology students all have found the learning experience interesting and memorable.
Available for purchase! Order online here.
TEACHING WITH THE PROTEIN SET
Download the flyer about the MIT Edgerton Center Protein sets.
The set contains:
- 14 Protein Kits
- 14 Protein Booklet 1: Introduction to Structure and Function
- 14 Protein Booklet 2: Advanced Protein Topics
- 14 Cell Membrane Mats
- 14 Trypsin Mats
- 14 Chymotrypsin Mats
- 28 Actin Filament Mats
- 14 Protein 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.
MIT Edgerton Center Protein Set videos on our YouTube channel (Now with audio!):
- Introduction to Proteins (Protein Booklet 1: pages 3-9)
- Protein Folding in Water (Protein Booklet 1: pages 11-12)
- How Cells Make New Proteins (Protein Booklet 1: pages 13-18)
- Introduction to Channel Proteins (Protein Booklet 1: page 19)
- How to Fold a Helix (Protein Booklet 1: pages 20-23)
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.
RCSB Protein Data Bank
The RCSB Protein Data Bank has an extensive educational online resource, PDB-101. PDB-101 is an online portal for teachers, students, and the general public to promote exploration in the world of proteins and nucleic acids. Learning about the diverse shapes and functions of these biological macromolecules helps to understand all aspects of biomedicine and agriculture, from protein synthesis to health and disease to biological energy.
The RCSB PDB Molecule of the Month by David S. Goodsell presents short accounts on selected molecules from the Protein Data Bank. Each installment includes an introduction to the structure and function of the molecule, a discussion of the relevance of the molecule to human health and welfare, and suggestions for how visitors might view these structures and access further details. This feature provides an easy introduction to the RCSB PDB for all types of users, but especially for teachers and students. We frequently use Goodsell images in our booklets.
The Protein Data Bank also has an excellent introductory video on proteins that covers the same material as our booklets.
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.
Models and Lessons created by Kathleen M. Vandiver. Graphics by Amanda Mayer. ©MIT. All rights reserved.