A collaboration between UMBC and the Center for Biomolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering(MSOE)
Primary Goal: The primary goal of the SMART team program is to expose high school students to the process of science and to do so using real world research problems. Members of a SMART team (Students Modeling A Research Topic) include a high school teacher, a group of high school students identified by the teacher (typically 4-10), and a researcher.
1. Qualification phase – Teacher/student teams travel to UMBC for training in basic protein structure and computer modeling. Teams are given a “qualification molecule” on which to practice their new-found skills.
2. Research and Design phase – Teams are matched with a participating faculty (or grad student) mentor. Teacher/student teams travel to the mentor lab for a tour and to learn about the mentor’s molecule of interest. The strategy for designing a model that will be a “thinking tool” is discussed. Then, the students’ work at their home school for the next several weeks to design the model with input and suggestions from the faculty mentor as an ongoing email collaboration. The final design file is submitted to MSOE staff and the model is manufactured using their rapid prototyping printer.
3. Presentation phase – Students work with the mentor to design a poster and oral presentation. Attendance at local, and possibly national educational conferences, are encouraged.
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For information on SMART Teams at UMBC, or to become a SMART team teacher or research mentor, contact Julie Wolf at 410-455-2146 or firstname.lastname@example.org