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published by the Concord Consortium Inc.
supported by the National Science Foundation
This interactive module for grades 8-12 explores the special class of molecules that make up and play critical roles in living cells. They are referred to as macromolecules (or large biomolecules).In this activity, learners "zoom" in to view the molecular structures that make up living organisms. Choose from plants, mammals, cold-blooded animals, insects, and bacteria. Continue zooming in to see illustrations of cellular structure, DNA, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and more.  

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This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering. The models are all freely accessible.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
= Atomic Models
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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© 2008 Concord Consortium
IPLS, Introductory Physics for Life Sciences, biology, biomolecules, cell biology, microbiology, molecular structure, molecule simulation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 18, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 15, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 30, 2011

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

5. The Living Environment

5A. Diversity of Life
  • 6-8: 5A/M2. Animals and plants have a great variety of body plans and internal structures that contribute to their being able to make or find food and reproduce.
  • 9-12: 5A/H4. Most complex molecules of living organisms are built up from smaller molecules. The various kinds of small molecules are much the same in all life forms, but the specific sequences of components that make up the very complex molecules are characteristic of a given species.
5C. Cells
  • 6-8: 5C/M3a. Within cells, many of the basic functions of organisms—such as extracting energy from food and getting rid of waste—are carried out.
  • 6-8: 5C/M3b. The way in which cells function is similar in all living organisms.
  • 6-8: 5C/M4. About two thirds of the weight of cells is accounted for by water, which gives cells many of their properties.
  • 9-12: 5C/H1a. Every cell is covered by a membrane that controls what can enter and leave the cell.
  • 9-12: 5C/H3. The work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, mostly proteins. Protein molecules are long, usually folded chains made from 20 different kinds of amino acid molecules. The function of each protein molecule depends on its specific sequence of amino acids and its shape. The shape of the chain is a consequence of attractions between its parts.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Concord Consortium Inc., Concord, 2008), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life).
Concord Consortium: Tree of Life, (Concord Consortium Inc., Concord, 2008), <https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life>.
APA Format
Concord Consortium: Tree of Life. (2011, May 30). Retrieved June 5, 2020, from Concord Consortium Inc.: https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life
Chicago Format
National Science Foundation. Concord Consortium: Tree of Life. Concord: Concord Consortium Inc., May 30, 2011. https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life (accessed 5 June 2020).
MLA Format
Concord Consortium: Tree of Life. Concord: Concord Consortium Inc., 2008. 30 May 2011. National Science Foundation. 5 June 2020 <https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Concord Consortium: Tree of Life}, Publisher = {Concord Consortium Inc.}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {5 June 2020}, Month = {May 30, 2011}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%T Concord Consortium: Tree of Life
%D May 30, 2011
%I Concord Consortium Inc.
%C Concord
%U https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D May 30, 2011
%T Concord Consortium: Tree of Life
%I Concord Consortium Inc.
%V 2020
%N 5 June 2020
%8 May 30, 2011
%9 text/html
%U https://concord.org/stem-resources/tree-life

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