Digital World Biology will attend the WSTA (Washington Science Teachers Association) meeting in Spokane WA this October 17-19. We will have our booth, iPads and demos of Molecule World™ and MW DNA Binding Lab.™ Perhaps a sneak peak of version 2! Additionally, Dr. Sandra Porter will conduct a workshop entitled "What can we learn from molecular structures?" The abstract, detailed description, and our ad are below.
Abstract - A central challenge in teaching biology is that the molecules essential for life like ATP, DNA, RNA, and proteins, are invisible to the naked eye. Scientists explore these molecules by using tools like electron microscopy, x-ray crystallography, and NMR to gather data and computational modeling software to display that data in different ways. We will use diverse examples (e.g. biofuels, spider silk, antibodies, DNA) to demonstrate how students can use computational models to better understand relationships between structure and function.
Detailed Description - Scientists create and use models of molecular structures as tools for understanding relationships between structure and function. They gather experimental data through electron microscopy, crystallography, and NMR, and use computational tools to produce models based on that data. Those data are shared with other scientists and the public in databases at the NCBI (MMDB and PubChem) and the PDB.
We will use a low-cost tablet-based molecular modeling program (Molecule World™) to demonstrate how students can use these data to explore the physical and chemical properties of molecular structures. We will walk through investigations that students can do in order to increase their understanding of the chemical and physical properties of molecules and how the properties of molecular structures relate to their function. Using molecular models as analysis tools involves developing models that highlight different aspects of scale, composition, molecular sequence, and chemical properties. The example investigations will cover topics from chemistry, molecular biology, nanotechnology, and biotechnology and will include nucleic acids, biofuels, and interesting proteins such as spider silk proteins, cytochrome C oxidase, aquaporins, hemoglobin, and green fluorescent proteins. We will show how working with these models can bring invisible molecules to life and meet the NGSS.
This year's themes and strands focus on science and STEM for everyone, NGSS training and updates, connecting K-12 and college/university, and many more.