Posted on February 23, 2021 / Senior College
Simulating Enzyme Activity in VCE Biology
The Year 12 VCE Biology classes have been exploring enzyme theory this week. With our return to onsite learning, this has provided us an opportunity to engage in the theory with hands-on activities. One of these activities has been simulating the activity of enzymes using coloured counters. Students with their eyes closed, represent the enzyme, while the counters scattered around the benchtop represent the substrates. In a set period of time students need to collect as many counters as they can (while keeping their eyes closed) – the number of counters collected represents the enzyme activity, with the more counters collected, the faster the rate of enzyme activity.
The simulation explores what happens to enzyme activity if we increase substrate concentration (add more counters), increase enzyme concentration (add more students) as well as the effect of adding an inhibitor (add different coloured counters). Activities such as this offer a fantastic way for students to engage in inquiry and to build their own understanding of the theory. These activities are always followed with class discussions to identify the new knowledge and address any misconceptions that might still persist.
Science and Biology Teacher
Year 11 Pastoral Mentor