Amino Acid Starter Kit©

Lending Library

Fun, self-correcting and intuitive, this kit results in confidence and learning that lasts for years.

Loan Period


Loan Time Frame: 3 weeks (1 week loan plus 2 weeks for delivery and return shipping)

Local Pickup (Greater Milwaukee Area)

Loan Time Frame: 2 weeks


You only pay for return shipping
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Teaching Points

Your students will be so engaged, they won’t even notice how complex their learning is. Working collaboratively, groups of students explore the chemical properties of amino acids to guide them as they fold their own protein. As they begin to realize that DNA is a code for amino acid sequences that ultimately determine protein structure, their confidence soars! Students will:

  • Examine patterns within and between side chains of amino acids
  • Use indicators like the colored clip at the base of each side chain indicating chemical properties and embedded colored sphere showing atomic structure
  • Organize the side chains based on chemical properties they uncover in their investigation
  • Group the side chains into one of 5 categories: hydrophobic (nonpolar), hydrophilic (polar), negatively charged, positively charged, and cysteines, which sometimes form disulfide bonds
  • Explore the primary and tertiary structure of proteins by constructing a 15-amino acid protein
  • Examine secondary structure of proteins by folding a toober model of the first of 3 zinc fingers of the Zif268 protein

This is often referred to as the magic kit because it is astounding how the learning appears as students engage in the activities.

Find additional resources for this kit here: Amino Acid Starter Kit© Classroom Resources

Included Materials

12 Amino Acid Starter Kits© per case – Each kit contains:

  • 1 Chemical Properties Circle with rubber bumpers for each amino acid
  • 22 Amino Acid Sidechains (1 of each amino acid, plus 1 additional cysteine and 1 additional histidine)
  • 1 Meter Mini Toober
  • 2 Mini Toober Endcaps (1 red and 1 blue)
  • 6 Hydrogen Bond Connectors
  • Amino Acid Sidechain Chart