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Cracking the Code to Make Protein

Crack the mRNA MESSAGE to make a PROTEIN sequence


Translation is the process of converting an mRNA sequence into a string of amino acids, ultimately comprising a protein. To do this, ribosomes move along the mRNA and read the code in groups of three. The groups of three are called codons and the each code for an amino acid.



  • Students can use their MESSAGE BOARD from the Transcription Activity or you can prepare a color-coded sequence specific for this exercise if needed

Store Items

  • Pipe cleaners, any color(s)
  • Pony beads, in 8+ colors (our print materials use white, green, blue, black, purple, red, orange, and yellow)

Color Printed Items

  • RNA –> protein decoder (see downloadables)
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