We believe that the invisible world of molecules becomes real when students have an opportunity to hold physical models in their hands. This is true for flexible models made from Toobers, or accurate models made by 3D-printing technologies. In both cases, the physical models function as thinking tools that stimulate questions that are then addressed using computer visualization tools.
SMART and MAPS Teams are trained in protein structure and function and computer visualization software. SMART Teams work closely with a research mentor to design and build a physical model of a protein studied by the research lab. MAPS Teams explore a specific protein topic and build a physical model of a protein that tells their molecular story.Learn More
The Science Olympiad Protein Modeling Event has high school students use computer visualization software to examine a protein's structure, then fold an accurate backbone model of the protein using Mini-Toobers©. Models are built before and during the competition.Learn More
Our work is supported by grants from the NIH National Center for Research Resources SEPA program, the NSF CCLI program, the Department of Education Institute for Educational Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.