About the CREST Program
Researchers, undergraduate educators and undergraduate students work together to explore a research topic and create educational materials for use in the undergraduate classroom in the CREST program. This program is a spin-off of the highly successful SMART Team program, in which high school students work with researcher to create a physical model of a protein being studied in the research lab; and the PALM Project, in which ancillary educational materials (animations, illustrations, Jmol tutorials, paper bioinformatics and toober folding activities) were created to supplement accurate 3D models of proteins. CREST is funded by NSF-CCLI grant #1022793 and NSF-TUES grant #1323414. CREST Activities
Undergraduate students interact with a research lab to understand the focus of research in the laboratory. Students then design a model of the protein being investigated in the lab; a physical model of the protein is then built using 3D printing technology. The students then work closely with an undergraduate educator to develop ancillary educational materials, so that their protein model can be incorporated in the undergraduate classroom. An important component of these materials is the incorporation of 'how we know what we know' - or the experiments that were done to elucidate the findings conveyed in the activities - so that students in the classroom see science not merely as a collection of facts collected in their textbook.