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Protein Factory

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Protein Factory

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
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Human Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function

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


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