Model Kits

Molecular Modeling Kits 

SEP has adapted lessons and teaching tools developed by our colleagues at the Center for Biomolecular Modeling (CBM). More information about these and many other modelling sets can be found at CBM's website and 3-D Molecular Design, the sister company that sells many of the modeling supplies. Teaching resources are available at the 3DMD site. 

Kit Sign Up Process

NOTE: Because of limited staff days at the Hutch, please give us a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice so we can process your request.

Current days for Pick up and Drop Off of SEP items are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1. Complete Online Demographic Form (only needs to be done once, skip if already filled out) Estimated numbers are OK.

2. Fill out the request form and indicate which kit you are requesting.

3: Confirmation Email: Once we have your items scheduled we will send a preliminary email summarizing your items and dates for pick up and drop off. 

General Model Kits 

These are our model kits for modeling various biological concepts from the properties of water to serial dilutions. 

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Water Model Kit
Illustration of model water molecules
Illustration by Regina Wu

The Water Kit is a fun tool to help teach water concepts. In this kit, SEP provides a pre-lab, in which students use actual water to generate questions. All the material for the different stations, including pennies and soap for testing water tension, are provided. 

The magnetic water models can then be used to interact with water on the molecular level. The student booklets provided in each kit contains different activities designed to model concepts like hydrogen bonding. Each water kit contains 18 cups filled with magnetic water models. 

  • SEP has 6 Water Model Kits 
  • Each kit contains materials for Water Olympics, 18 Student Booklets, 18 “Cups” of magnetic water, including 12 water molecules, 1 sodium, 1 chlorine, 1 ethane
  • Activities are designed for 16 pairs of students (32 total) with two sets for teacher demonstrations

Water Models and Water Olympics Teaching Resources Landing Page

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

DNA Model Comparison Kit
Illustration of DNA
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

In this lesson, students are introduced to different models of DNA. Students compare the various models to discuss the strengths and limitations of models. 

  • SEP has 2 DNA Model Comparison Kits
  • Each kit comes with multiple different models of DNA for students and handouts 
  • The activity is designed for the whole class to work with the same set of DNA models
Glitter Dilution Kit
Illustration of serial dilutions
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

In this lesson, students are introduced to serial dilutions. Students perform a serial dilution of glitter to model how serial dilutions and parts per million work. 

  • SEP has 2 Glitter Dilution Kits
  • Each kit comes with Glitter Dilution Solution, 8 sets of falcon tubes, and biodegradable glitter
  • Labs are designed for 4 groups of 8 students (32 total)

Teacher Guide

Clean-up Guide

Protein Folding Model Kits

These modeling kits are specifically for teaching protein folding. We have a variety of modeling kits that can demonstrate amino acid properties and their impact on the shape and function of proteins. 

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Amino Acid Pizza Kit
Illustration of amino acids
Illustration by Regina Wu

The Pizza kit allows your students to explore how the unique chemical properties of the 20 amino acids help determine protein foldings and shape. Mini-Toobers, color-coded amino acids, and a magnetic “chemical properties” circle (pizza pan) help engage students in a hands-on folding activity and visually build their understanding of protein structure and function. Additional guide sheets are provided for teachers to help explain electrons and bonds, amino acid structure, and protein folding. 

  • SEP has 4 Pizza Amino Acid Starter kits
  • Each kit contains  8 magnetic pizza pans, 8 mini-toobers, amino acid clips, hydrogen bond parts, posters and handouts
  • Activities are designed for 8 groups of 4 students (32 total)

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

Moly Mod Amino Acid Kit
Illustration of an amino acid and water molecules
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

The Molymod Model Kit gives students the chance to explore amino acid structure using engaging Molymod models. Each tube contains enough parts to assemble 2 amino acids (students work in pairs). The models provide a strong 3-D visual representation of amino acid structure. Additional tutorial sheets are provided for teachers to help explain electrons and bonds, amino acid structure, and protein folding.

  • SEP has 2 Molymod Kits
  • Each kit contains 20 tubes containing model parts (atoms and bonds) and extra parts. Amino Acids R Us Poster and instructions and handouts
  • Activities are designed for 16 pairs of students (32 total) and two sets for teacher demonstration 

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

Toober Protein Folding Kit
Illustration of folded toober with tacks to model protein folding
Illustration by Regina Wu

The Toober Model Kit is another kit designed for students to explore protein folding. The large “Toober” represents a polypeptide chain (protein) backbone and the colored tacks symbolize the amino acid side chains. Using their understanding of the chemical properties of the amino acid side chains (tacks), the students folder their protein (Toober). Additional tutorial sheets are provided for teachers to help explain electrons and bonds, amino acid structure, and protein folding.

  • SEP has 2 Toober kits
  • Each kit contains 22 toobers and tacks and an Amino Acids R Us poster and handouts 
  • Activities are designed for 15 pairs of students (30 total)

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

Insulin Protein Folding Kit
Illustration of toobers with side chains to model protein folding
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

Explore the steps involved in the synthesis of insulin, beginning with mRNA, using gene maps, to create a 3-dimensional model of insulin. This kit is geared more towards upper level students but can be taught in conjunction with the Pizza and Molymod Kits.

  • SEP has 3 Insulin Kits
  • Each kit contains insulin mRNA to protein, a paper bioinformatics, and mini-Toober folding activity
  • Activities are designed for 16 pairs of students (32 total) and teacher demonstration

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

Beta Globin Protein Folding Kit
Illustration of hemoglobin
Illustration by Hanako Osuga

In this lesson, students are introduced to protein folding. They will explore hemoglobin and the various levels of it's structure. 

  • SEP has 1 beta globin kit
  • Each kit comes with toobers, hemoglobin mRNA to protein, and a model of hemoglobin

For teacher resources please visit 3D Molecular Designs

Additional Resource Kits 

These kits do not come with an activity or lab but serve as additional resources or accesssories for enhancing the experience of other curricula. 

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Elephant Trunk: Accessories Kit
Illustration of an elephant
Illustration by Regina Wu

Each kit comes with supplementary resources to enrich the Elephant Conservation: Ivory Cache (2018) and The Elephant Project (2001) curriculum experience. Each kit includes materials/resources for both curriculum, books, maps, and DVDs on Africa and African elephants, simulated ivory carvings and an elephant tooth, and other elephant resources. 

  • SEP has 8 Elephant Trunk Kits
  • Each comes with a separate poster tube with various maps and posters of Africa 
  • DOES NOT contain DNA or gel electrophoresis materials 

Related Pages

Illustration of worksheets and a notebook

SEP Curriculum

Our free, open-source lessons and units are geared towards high school biotech and biology teachers and focus on giving students opportunities to explore biotechnology and the social dimensions of research science.

Learn More

SEP Teacher Sharing

We have set up a Google folder for teachers to share resources. 

  • The Google folder contains a several subfolders on SEP kit-related topics shared by SEP teachers. There is also a subfolder on CRISPR resources, videos, and lessons. 
  • Create new folders to add other resources you'd like to share but model the general structure in the CRISPR folder (for example, articles and videos are probably easiest to share in a hyperlinked document and SEP Teacher Lessons in their own folder).
  • Indicate your name on any lessons that you have developed.
Google Folder for Teacher Sharing