Key Idea: The protein molecules an organism makes affect the organism’s physical traits, physiology, and behaviors.

Students are expected to know that:

  1. The presence, amount, type, or actions of protein molecules made in an organism’s cells are reflected in an organism’s traits.
  2. Protein molecules are involved in chemical reactions that are responsible for an organism’s body functions.

Boundaries:

  1. Students are not expected to know any of the specific reactions that link proteins to traits.
Percent of students answering correctly (click on the item ID number to view the item and additional data)
Item ID
Number
Knowledge Being Assessed Grades
6–8
Grades
9–12
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RH022002

Protein molecules help cells carry out many of their functions, and they are part of body structures such as hair and nails.

48%

61%

RH023005

Both an insect's physical characteristics and its behaviors could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules within the insect's cells.

40%

39%

RH023004

Both a bird's physical characteristics and its behaviors could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules within the bird's cells.

37%

40%

RH023002

Both an organism's physical characteristics and the function of the organism's cells could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules in an organism's cells (no specific organism identified).

34%

39%

RH022001

Protein molecules speed up chemical reactions in cells and help other molecules get in and out of cells.

31%

38%

RH022003

Protein molecules help other molecules get in and out of cells and speed up chemical reactions in cells.

32%

32%

RH023006

Both a plant's physical characteristics and its behaviors could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules within the plant's cells.

29%

35%

RH023003

Both a human's physical characteristics and its behaviors could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules within the cells of the human.

29%

33%

RH023001

Both an organism's physical characteristics and its behaviors could be influenced by the actions of protein molecules (no specific organism identified).

28%

29%

Frequency of selecting a misconception

Misconception
ID Number

Student Misconception

Grades
6–8

Grades
9–12

RHM077

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a plant's behaviors (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

48%

50%

RHM076

The actions of protein molecules do not affect an organism's behaviors (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

48%

50%

RHM080

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a human's behaviors (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

47%

51%

RHM079

The actions of protein molecules do not affect an insect's behaviors (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

45%

46%

RHM078

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a bird's behaviors (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

47%

44%

RHM069

The actions of protein molecules do not affect the speed of chemical reactions (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

42%

39%

RHM071

The actions of protein molecules do not affect an organism's physical characteristics (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

40%

41%

RHM070

The actions of protein molecules do not help molecules enter in and leave cells (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

41%

39%

RHM075

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a human's physical characteristics (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

37%

35%

RHM072

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a plant's physical characteristics (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

38%

29%

RHM067

The actions of protein molecules do not affect an organism's body structures (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

36%

25%

RHM073

The actions of protein molecules do not affect a bird's physical characteristics (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

29%

28%

RHM074

The actions of protein molecules do not affect an insect's physical characteristics (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

26%

27%

RHM068

The actions of protein molecules do not affect the basic functions of cells (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

26%

20%

Frequency of selecting a misconception was calculated by dividing the total number of times a misconception was chosen by the number of times it could have been chosen, averaged over the number of students answering the questions within this particular idea.