The goal of this project is to develop Inquiry-based Curriculum Units (ICUs) that present basic concepts of molecular structure in the form of """"""""molecular stories"""""""" of research-based health care. These ICUs will be developed by a team of science educators composed of staff of the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM), a veteran teacher with curriculum writing experience, a science education researcher who will develop assessment instruments to accompany each ICU, and high school science teachers who are familiar with the ICU topic as a result of an immersive professional development experience. The professional development program begins with an established summer course, Genes, Schemes and Molecular Machines, which updates the teachers'content knowledge of basic concepts of molecular structure and function. This summer course is followed by a week-long Modeling Workshop in which teachers select an interesting human disease, and explore the molecular basis of the disease while creating physical models of the affected proteins. During the ensuing academic year, teachers will organize a SMART Team (Students Modeling A Research Topic) in their schools and interact directly with a basic or clinical researcher at a local university to create a physical model of the protein that serves as a drug target for the disease. In the summer following this multi-component, in-depth exploration of the molecular basis of a disease and its treatment, the teachers will participate as members of the ICU Design Team. Each ICU will follow a standard inquiry-driven format that provides opportunities for students to discover basic concepts of molecular structure through active, hands-on modeling activities. This knowledge is then applied to the clinical situation in a way that emphasizes critical thinking skills. The ICUs that are developed in this project will be broadly disseminated to other teachers in presentations and workshops given by CBM staff and the participating teachers, to students through a Protein Modeling event of the Wisconsin Science Olympiad , in an outreach program to students of the Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club, and to adult learners in a series of public lectures hosted by our local Discovery World Museum. The common theme of each ICU is the critical role played by NIH-supported basic and clinical research in the development of new molecular approaches to the treatment of human diseases.
|Ge, Xia; Olson, Andrew; Cai, Sheng et al. (2008) Binding synergy and cooperativity in dihydrodipicolinate reductase: implications for mechanism and the design of biligand inhibitors. Biochemistry 47:9966-80|