Cellular respiration is the process by which our bodies convert glucose from food into energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Start by exploring the ATP molecule in 3D, then use molecular models to take a step-by-step tour of the chemical reactants and products in the complex biological processes of glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, the Electron Transport Chain, and ATP synthesis. Follow atoms as they rearrange and become parts of other molecules and witness the production of high-energy ATP molecules.
Note: it is not expected that students memorize every step of glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, or the Electron Transport Chain. The goal of this activity is to have students understand the different reactions of cellular respiration, including the importance of enzymes to the reactions; students should also learn that energy in one form is converted or transferred to other forms and places.
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