This lesson will give students tangible experience working with proteins and enzymes.
In this investigation, students take the role of a molecular biologist working for a major pharmaceutical company. Their task is to develop a medication to help people digest protein.
Students will use gelatin and enzymes that are found in fruits such as pineapple to investigate the assembly and disassembly of proteins. There is a research and writing component as well.
The lesson also contains a type of contest where students determine who has the best enzyme to digest protein.
The teacher will have to prepare some basic materials in advance. Material cost will be minimal (some fruit and gelatin).
The NGSS for this lesson would be HS-LS1-1. I have used this lesson successfully with middle school students during a unit on DNA. I think it has a place in middle school and in high school biology classes.
I hope you enjoy!