Curriculum Resources: Chemistry
1. "Exploring DNA and RNA Structure"
Provides a presentation to introduce DNA and RNA to advanced 7th graders and a coloring activity which will help students learn about DNA and RNA structure while also preparing them to view molecular structures in VMD using the CPK coloring scheme. This lesson is recommended as a precursor to the VMD nucleic acid lesson (lesson 2 below) and is intended for one 50 minute class period.
2. "Exploring the Structure of DNA and RNA in VMD"
Builds on the previous lesson by using the molecular visualization software VMD to view nucleotides and small strands of DNA and RNA. This lesson requires at least one computer with VMD installed for every 3 students. It is very helpful if there is also a computer with an LCD projector attached for the teacher to demonstrate how to load and manipulate the molecules. This lesson is ideal when given two, 50 minute class periods, but it can be completed in one class period if the coloring activity above is done first and brought to the computer room as a key to help students along.
Lesson Plan & Notes for Teachers