Modeling the Molecular World

MMW Part I: Tactile Teaching with Physical Models

Applications for the 2014 course are no longer being accepted. If you are interested in attending the course in summer 2015, please complete the application.

Summer 2015
Course Directors: Tim Herman, Margaret Franzen and Gina Vogt

Teachers at our 2013 MMW Summer Course
Teachers at our MMW I Summer Course

During the Modeling the Molecular World, Part 1 course, we will focus on connecting the macroscopic world in which students live with the invisible world of molecules. We will begin by exploring general principles of chemistry underlying molecular structure and function and how these give rise to a complex array of "molecular machines" that work coordinately to maintain the living state. We will focus on proteins and how they "know" what shape they should fold up into following their synthesis as linear polymers of amino acids.

We will use a variety of physical models in an effort to make this molecular world "real". We will also introduce the use of RasMol and JMOL -- computer visualization tools that can be used to expand on the concepts of protein structure that are initially created by the use of the physical models. We will also discuss a variety of different teaching strategies and "pedagogical moments", interspersed throughout the workshop. This workshop will also prepare teachers to either coach a Science Olympiad Protein Modeling team or to organize a SMART (Students Modeling A Research Topic) Team at your school.

Apply to Modeling the Molecular World Part I: Tactile Teaching with Physical Models


Application Information

A $500 workshop fee covers the cost of:

A limited number of scholarships are available for those with identified need. Applications for scholarships are available on request. Contact Tim Herman at herman@msoe.edu for more information.


MMMW Part II - Designing Instructional Materials for the Classroom

Applications for the 2014 course are no longer being accepted. If you are interested in attending the course in summer 2015, please complete the application.

Summer 2015
Course Directors: Tim Herman, Gina Vogt and Margaret Franzen

Teachers at our 2013 MMW Summer Course
Teachers at our MMW II Summer Course

In this advanced course, participants use the computer visualization program Jmol to design a model of a biomolecule related to a current research topic and then build that model using the rapid prototyping machines available at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Working as a team, participants research a particular topic to develop an understanding of the Molecular Story involving the biomolecule of interest. In addition to designing a physical model of the biomolecule, teams can further develop the Molecular Story by creating additional "thinking tools" using Mini-Toobers, bioinformatics resources or other available modeling resources.

Apply to Modeling the Molecular World Part II: Designing Instructional Materials for the Classroom


Application Information

A $500 workshop fee covers the cost of:

A limited number of scholarships are available for those with identified need. Applications for scholarships are available on request. Contact Tim Herman at herman@msoe.edu for more information.


The Teachers FIRST program is supported by the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) of the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number 1R25OD010505. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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