Welcome to the MAPS Student Protein Modeling Program. We have taken the main features of our past student modeling programs (SMART and MAPS) and combined them into one simple to use set of resources.
In MAPS, small groups of students led by a teacher facilitator use hands-on modeling activities and online digital resources to discover basic molecular concepts. They will read a research paper and use protein structure data to “design” and 3D print a model of the protein, which will help them tell their structure-function story in a capstone event presentation.
Creating a physical model of a protein structure is a key component of the MAPS program. But what does it really mean to "design" a protein model? It means you explore a protein structure in a molecular visualization program, and then simplify the way the protein is visually displayed to make the key features of the protein that help communicate your molecular story more obvious.
This can mean hiding some atoms that are not important for your protein story, changing the display format of certain parts of your protein structure or changing colors to best highlight the most important parts of the protein structures.
The MAPS phases are designed to be flexible, working well for a wide variety of unique team situations.
"It has come to show me that even a young high school student can become a member of the scientific community."
"It has taught me teamwork as well as it's okay if you do not know something."
"I love MAPS Teams!!!! As a senior I feel really prepared for college level courses and I can confidently engage with the scientific community. I can also communicate research and scientific findings in a clear and comprehensive way to anyone. Thanks!!!!"
"MAPS Teams taught me the value of teamwork, how to break down complex scientific texts into manageable and understandable pieces, how to collaborate with professional scientists. I'm very thankful for the MAPS Team program and everything it's taught me - discipline, persistence, a sense of humility."
"I learned so much from MAPS Teams its hard to know where to start! I learned about writing skills as my team's abstract was revised. I also learned about computers through Jmol. I learned that research is not just an interesting topic, but that it affects people every day. The questions that researchers ask today will unlock answers of tomorrow! New medicines and treatments can be developed through research. I found out how important modeling is to the scientific community. I also became more interested in microbiology and proteins. MAPS Team helped me learn what I want to do after high school."
"MAPS teams allows me to learn about things that are beyond the scope of what can be taught in a classroom."
"It helped me see different parts of a scientist's job and how research comes together in the end to tell a story."
"It gave me a better idea on how I may want to be involved in the scientific community in the future."
"It has taught me the importance of protein modeling in the scientific process."
"The MAPS Teams program gave me an understanding in working in the science field and what I could possibly achieve."
"It made me more aware of the scientific community and what part their research plays on our everyday lives."
"It challenged more than I would have been in the classroom."
"It really opened up science to me. Science isn't sitting in a classroom learning about rocks its about being in a lab doing research alongside your mentor."
"The MAPS Teams program has taught me the importance of communication and modeling not only within the scientific community but as general life skills. It also showed me how to have an open mind and be willing to learn about others projects and molecules of interest. Last, the MAPS Team program has taught me the importance of actively participating in the scientific community, being professional, and having the ability to take something complex and put it into simpler yet accurate terms."
"The MAPS Teams program taught me what research was all about. It also taught me that you always have support and not everyone knows all the answers. One has to ask questions to learn, even our mentor still has questions. By participating in MAPS Team I have come to enjoy science/biology more and will continue down that career path in college."
"It made me more interested in being a part of the scientific community."
"MAPS Teams have had a huge impact on my life so far. My outlook on my life has changed completely. I can look at the simplest things and understand them, and it is a great feeling. Because of MAPS Team I have no doubt I will be choosing a science related career path in my future."
"MAPS Teams prepared me for my future and set up a career path in which I wish to follow through on in the biochemistry field."
"Previous to my MAPS Team experience, I was ignorant to how the real world relays information. I now understand that everyone must be able to share information in a constructive manner, in order to further the understanding of the universe."
"Participating in MAPS Teams has shown me a more in depth of what scientists do on a regular basis and how they collaborate and share results."
"MAPS teams have gotten me excited for college and to learn more about biology and chemistry."
"This program has opened my eyes to an entirely new career field. I have learned so much through this experience and I am extremely grateful that I have experienced this."
"I have changed my mind about what I want to go to college for. Coming into the MAPS team program I wanted to be a mechanic. I now want to be a nurse or physician's assistant."