Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Debuts Dynamic Science Teaching Tool
“Big Numbers” is the newest and most elegantly produced instructional movie from CMIST (seeÃ‚·mist, Computational Modules in Science Teaching), an educational outreach program of the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing (NRBSC) at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).
In “Big Numbers,” students “see” carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water and glucose molecules. They watch red-blood cells passing through a vessel while discovering that each of these cells can hold about three-trillion water molecules. They see supercomputer simulations of realistic atomic sizes, covalent bonds, hydrogen bonds, and other details of molecular structure and motion (molecular dynamics), before time and space leap ahead to illustrate Brownian movements of molecules on cellular and human scales.
To view “Big Numbers” go here: http://www.nrbsc.org/cmist
Unlike many other animated teaching tools, CMIST movies are produced with highly realistic modeling and simulation software, such as MCell and DReAMM, programs co-authored by Stiles and used for realistic cell modeling in many research laboratories around the world. CMIST materials extrapolate from and bring life to classic textbook pictures and concepts. They seamlessly integrate content from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computational science, and are distributed online and as ready-to-use DVDs.
Led by Stiles, the CMIST production team is a unique assemblage of talents, including simulation and visualization specialist
CMIST’s pilot module, “Molecular Transport in Cells,” was introduced in 2008 and illustrates important principles of osmosis and diffusion with 3D examples. It has been presented to over 500 multi-disciplinary educators at the state and national level and has been enthusiastically received and incorporated in classroom use in the
CMIST is jointly supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid program, and the Commonwealth of
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of
SOURCE Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center