What do you get when you combine enthusiastic high school teachers and their students, scientists excited about their research, and rapid prototyping technology? SMART (Students Modeling A Research Topic) Teams!.

In this multi-faceted program, students develop teamwork as they delve into the molecular world, explore science as a process and not just a collection of facts, and work closely with a researcher to understand and model the structure-function relationship of a protein the researcher studies.

If you are interested in a Local SMART Team, contact Gina Vogt (vogt@msoe.edu). If you are interested in a National SMART Team, contact Diane Munzenmaier (munzenmaier@msoe.edu).

There are Three Phases to the SMART Team Program

Qualification Phase

In the Qualification Phase, all teams explore a common cutting-edge research topic determined by the CBM to demonstrate their competency in telling a molecular story. SMART Teams across the country work with their teachers to review basic protein structure and learn to use JMol, a molecular visualization program.

Research and Design Phase

In the Research and Design Phase, teams are paired with a research Mentor, visit their respective Mentor's laboratory to learn more about the process of science, and design and build a model of the protein.

Presentation Phase

In the Presentation Phase, Teams work with their Mentor to develop a poster and an oral presentation that explain their "molecular story" - why their protein is important and how the structure relates to the function of the protein.

SMART Teams Across the USA!

SMART Teams Map

SMART Team Publications

Images of Anthrax: A Team Approach
By Jon Knopp, Chem Matters, December 2002, pages 4-6

Put Your Lab in a Different Class
By Sally Goodman, Nature 420, 12-14 (2002)

Models of Excitement: Teachers use rapid prototyping to build protein structures
By Toni Shears, HHMI Bulletin June 2002, pages 46-47

Tactile Teaching: Exploring protein structure/function using physical models
By Tim Herman, Jennifer Morris, Shannon Colton, Ann Batiza, Mike Patrick, Margaret Franzen and David Goodsell Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 34, 247-254 (2006)

Rethinking Outreach: Teaching the process of science through modeling
By Tim Herman, Shannon Colton and Margaret Franzen, PLOS Biol 6(4):e86 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060086

SMART Teams are funded by NCRR, HHMI and the CTSI of Southeastern Wisconsin

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