Protein Factory

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
In this activity, learners take on the role of various parts of the cell in order to model the process of protein synthesis. Each learner receives a card describing, step by step, what s/he should be doing. Learners play the roles of either RNA codons, an RNA polymerase, messenger RNA, a ribosome, or transfer RNA. This activity is designed for a large group of 30 learners, but could be used with smaller groups of at least 10 learners. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Human Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Salter, Irene


Funding Source:

  • Rose Foundation