Student Programs

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 rapid prototyping 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

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 work through online resources to explore a new protein topic each year, building a physical model of the protein studied at the end of the project.

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Science Olympiad

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.

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Undergraduate students collaborate with a researcher and an educator to build a model of a protein useful to the researcher, then work with the educator to develop educational materials to bring the research surrounding that protein into the classroom.

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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.

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