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Computational Biology
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Tuesday, December 11, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program the presenter examined the shift that has happened in contemporary biology due to the advent of technology that allows greater synthesis of data, the genomic revolution, and the move towards systems thinking in biology.

Dr. Jeff Krause, computational biologist and educator for Shodor Foundation, Inc., was the presenter of this web seminar. Through examples that demonstrate how scientists are able to render molecular structures better using visualization tools and methods that scientists use to study complex systems of biological processes, participants learned about resources that help educators create models of these systems with their students. The use of computational models is a dynamic way of understanding complex systems and is central to teaching biology in the 21st century.

Twenty-six (26) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Participants received a one-year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for attending the program and completing the evaluation form.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I am just getting started with the Life Science area of my General
    Science program. I think my students will be fascinated with this and it
    will help them understand why scientists use models.”

  • “I teach AP biology and need to give my students a sense of where
    biology is and what scientists are actually doing. If I want to encourage
    kids to pursue careers in biology, they need to see the possibilities. This
    will be a good way to help open that window for them.”

  • “I enjoyed the protein image manipulation the most. I learned that there
    are resources where educators can access these structures.”

  • “I was very pleased with the resources I learned about and will be
    checking them out after filling out the survey because from the sliver of
    info I saw it looks like the sites are something I can use.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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