Grade Level: 3rd - 4th; Type: Life Science
This is a perfect way to teach how enzyme inhibitors, active sites, non-competitive enzyme inhibitors, and substrates work. It is simple and very fun. We will be using clay to model an enzyme and many other enzyme related structures. Be creative!
- Why do you think they call it non-competitive and competitive?
- Why do you think they call it an active site?
- If you have a pizza and you slice a piece out, which is the substrate, the slice or the pizza?
Certain enzymes work with certain substrates. Both non-competitive and competitive inhibitors act to block substrates from going to the active site. Confused? Let us begin the experiment!
- Clay or Play Doh (Convenience/ Toy Store)
- Plastic Knife (Grocery/Convenience Store)
- First of all, you should research what all the terms mean. If you do not understand them you will not be able to do this project easily.
- You should be original in your model, but for easier instruction I will be using an example.
- Mold a heart out of clay. Cut chunk out of the side of the heart (like taking a bite out of a cookie).
- Take the piece you cut off and label it substrate.
- What is left of the heart will be the Enzyme and the empty chunk mark is the Active Site.
- Now make a Competitive Inhibitor by making something that fits into the empty chunk mark, but looks different from the Substrate.
- Now make a Non-Competitive Inhibitor by taking a wad of clay. To show the effect of the Non-Competitive Inhibitor you should smash the wad of clay into the Enzyme, thus changing the shape of the Active Site.
Terms/Concepts: Enzymes; Substrates; Active Site; Non-competitive Inhibitor; Competitive Inhibitor