J.P. Stevens HS Wins NJ Protein Modeling Event
26 teams from high schools in New Jersey demonstrated their understanding of protein structure at the March 13 State Science Olympiad competition. Teams had previously scored well at one of the three regional competitions that took place in January.
The focus of this year's event uses the example of the discovery and treatment of a rare genetic trait to explore proteins involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Related Molecule of the Month columns and Jmol are key resources for this event. Related information is also posted on twitter.com/#!/buildmodels. For an overview, see education.pdb.org and cbm.msoe.edu/stupro/so/index.html.
Teams submitted hand-built 3D models of caspase (PDB ID 1i3o) on the morning of the event. The models represented the protein backbone, with additional points awarded for structures with details that highlighted important parts of the structure.
During the event itself, the students quickly built a model of PARP (PDB ID 3od8) and answered questions on a written exam.
RCSB PDB team members judged this competition, and met with teams at the end of the day to discuss results.
Congratulations to all participating teams--there were many great models, abstracts, and responses to the written exam.
Special thanks to our judges from the RCSB PDB (Luigi Di Costanzo, Brian Hudson, and event organizer Christine Zardecki), the NJ Science Olympiad organizers, and to the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling for the design of this event.
Questions about the NJ Science Olympiad Protein Modeling trial event should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For protein-related tips and news of interest to students and educators, follow us on twitter@buildmodels.