Students use 3D models to transcribe a DNA sequence into an RNA sequence and translate RNA sequence into amino acid sequence (protein primary structure).
Estimated Time of Activity
Up to 1.5 hours
Students will be able do the following as a result of the activity:
- Describe the universal genetic code in general terms
- Explain in detail the base pairing rules for DNA and RNA
- List 3 differences between DNA and RNA
- Explain the basic concepts of transcription and translation
Students should have already made a DNA model and should have a firm grasp on base pairing rules.
- Use DNA model as a template to construct a RNA model
- Use RNA sequence as basis for making an amino acid chain
At the end of the exercise students should have a complete RNA model and a protein with the correct order of amino acids.
- Student handout
- DNA 3D models from previous activity
- Black licorice sticks: 1 per student
- Colored marshmallows per student: 9 green, 9 pink, 9 yellow, and 9 orange
- Toothpicks: 12 per student
- Colored sticky notes or paper cutouts: 2 red, 2 pink, 2 dark yellow, 2 light yellow, 2 green, 2 blue, and 2 purple (or any other combination of available colors) per student
- Masking tape
See Instructors handout.