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SEPGuides: Science Education Partnership: Toober Model Kit

SEPGuides is the go-to place for all SEP kit protocols and activities, as well as the posting area for announcements and program updates. If something is missing or you have an idea to contribute, please e-mail us at

Background on Kit Development

Kit Description

2 Kits

1 Crate per Kit

The Toober Model Kit is another kit designed for students to explore protein folding. The large “toober” represents a polypeptide chain (protein) and the colored tacks symbolize the amino acid side chains. Depending on the chemical properties of the amino acid side chains (tacks), the students determine the shape of their protein (toober). Additional worksheets are provided for teachers to help explain electrons and bonds, amino acid structure, and protein folding.

Additional Web Resources

Journal Articles

Useful Links

In The News

{A place for articles, news clips, etc covering topics related to each specific kit}

Toober Kit Frequently Asked Questions

Toober Notebook Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Tab Document
Kit Inventory
Complete List of Equipment and Materials Included
Toober Kit Inventory List
Kit Contents * 25 toobers
* 25 50ml Falcon tubes with 15 tacks each
* Instructions and handouts
Illustrations 15 Tacks and a Toober
A one page tutorial on how to create a protein.
Different Bonds
A brief tutorial on covalent bonds, hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, and Van der Waals interactions.
Fun with Electrons
A brief tutorial on the behavior of electrons in small organic molecules.
What is an Amino Acid?
Looking at the different components of an amino acid, and how peptide bonds are formed.
Protein structure - Primary
Protein structure - Secondary
Protein structure - Tertiary
Protein structure - Quaternary
Amino Acids R Us
A poster of the 20 different amino acids.
Amino Acid Chart
A chart separating the 20 amino acids into hydrophobic and hydrophilic.