This super fun enzyme lab activity helps students experience how enzymes work to Lower the Activation Energy of a reaction, and how enzyme reaction rates change over time. Scissors become enzymes (Strawase enzymes!), and straws become substrates!
If you are familiar with the legendary Toothpickase activity, this is an upgraded version which I have found makes a much better analogy to how enzymes work.
Plus, it is tons of hands-on fun!
The lab focuses on these characteristics of enzymes:
- Enzymes take substrate and make product
- Understand how enzymes lower the activation energy of a reaction
- Enzymes speed up reaction rates
- Enzymes are specific to their substrate
- Reaction rates begin high, but drop to zero as the substrate runs out
- Higher enzyme concentration leads to faster reaction rate
Very simple set up!
Students work in pairs, each pair needs about 30 plastic bendy straws and one pair of scissors.
Students will take individual data, then class data, and graph it to see the change in reaction rate over time. An additional graph guides students to see the relationship between reaction rate and enzyme concentration.
What is Included:
Full three page teacher guide provides detailed instructions for set up and how to guide students though the lab. Includes how to introduce the lab with a short activity demonstrating how enzymes lower the activation energy of a reaction!
Student pages include point values for each question, with total points per page at the bottom – so you do not have to figure out how to grade it!
Plus, a link to a full answer key!
Looking for more resources about Enzymes?
I use all three of these products for my own Enzyme Unit – they are designed to work together!
Click to see a preview of the Enzyme Lab Activity!
What some happy teachers are saying about the Enzyme Lab Activity:
This lab did exactly what it was intended to – making a challenging topic more tangible. The hardest part was finding enough straws to use! Students enjoyed this. – Aimee M. June 8, 2022
Wonderful resource, the scissor and straw example really help strengthen my students (especially lower level students) understanding of enzyme function. – S.C. December 10, 2021
I was having a really hard time finding a way to demonstrate how enzymes work to my freshman. This resources was PERFECT. I was able to modify the document to fit the needs of my students. Highly recommend, Thank you! – Stellar S. November 14, 2021