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May 2006

MOLO: Molecular Logic
Model-based activities for basic physics and genetics.
Grade Level: 9-12

The Molecular Logic (MOLO) database provides teachers and students access to a wide variety of model-based activities that explore interactions of atoms and molecules or rule-based genetics.
The site is well designed and easy to navigate. The database can be browsed by any of six categories or can be searched by concept, science education standard, or by entering a keyword. The activity number can be entered in the "Jump to Activity" box at the top right of the page and can be viewed as a student or teacher.

"MOLO's computational models can help students visualize complex scenarios, but go much further than standard diagrams or animations. The models compute the changing states of interacting atoms and molecules in real-time, so that students can change parameters and immediately observe the effects. For example, in one model you can raise the temperature of a gas, and watch the particles diffuse faster across the screen. In another you can change the charge on one amino acid in a protein, and see the difference in conformation as the protein folds." Teachers and students may want to begin with the Molecular Stepping Stones that help students understand the ten key concepts underlying many biological processes. Topics include atomic structure, random kinetic motion, spatial equilibrium, chemical bonds, weak attractions, compounds, intermolecular forces, molecular folding, chemical reactions, proteins, DNA and biologica. There are currently over one hundred interactive modules available that can be used in a range of settings, from classroom demonstration to individual exploration and experimentation. Students are guided through the activity, presented challenges to solve and given guiding questions which can be put together into a report and printed when the activity is finished. The activities are also linked to science standards and typical textbooks.



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