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Viral Packaging

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    The Exploratorium

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Viral Packaging

In this activity, learners create virus models, including nucleic acid and proteins, using simple materials. This resource includes information about virus structure and gene therapy.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • card stock or other heavy paper
  • 2-3 feet of yarn
  • 6 extra-large cotton balls
  • scissors
  • tape
  • triangle template


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Genetic Engineering
    • Human Body
      • Medicine
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Representation

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Yu, Julie


  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2006

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610238
  • National Science Foundation, 0925383

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