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ERIC Number: EJ913309
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Hands-On Classroom Simulation to Demonstrate Concepts in Enzyme Kinetics
Junker, Matthew
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n3 p294-295 Mar 2010
A classroom exercise is described to introduce enzyme kinetics in an undergraduate biochemistry or chemistry course. The exercise is a simulation in which a student acts as an enzyme that "catalyzes" the unscrewing of a nut from a bolt. With other students assisting, the student enzyme carries out reactions with bolt-nut substrates under different conditions to illustrate limiting substrate, excess substrate, and inhibition. The class participates in collecting data and calculating reaction rates. Students use the results to construct a mathematical kinetic model for the simulated reaction. The constructed model parallels the Michaelis-Menten model for enzyme-catalyzed reactions that is presented in most biochemistry courses and textbooks. By using the simple everyday objects of nuts and bolts, this simulation enables students to directly visualize how reaction rates are measured and how they can be connected to mathematical models. In this way, fundamental concepts of enzyme kinetics can be developed before introducing more complex reactions catalyzed by molecular enzymes. (Contains 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A