Center for Multiscale Theory and Simulation


Training for Chicago Public School Teachers

Physical Chemistry Course for Chicago Public School Teachers: SESAME Program

The Seminars for Endorsement of Science and Mathematics Educators (SESAME) Program at the University of Chicago offers courses for professional development in mathematics and science. These courses can be used for obtaining State of Illinois Endorsements in the teaching of Mathematics or Science in the Middle Grades (Grades 6-8). In addition, SESAME courses can be used for Chicago Public Schools Lane Credit and State Recertification.

Last summer (July 30-August 10, 2012), the CMTS offered a course to middle grade teachers within the Chicago public school system, entitled, 'The Physics and Chemistry of Biology'. In this course, participants investigated the multiscale and multidisciplinary nature of biomolecular systems. They began with an overview of several systems (the biological membrane, the HIV capsid, and the actin filament) which was visited again in greater depth later in the course. Several topics from physics and chemistry were reviewed, previous experience in these areas was not essential for this course. In particular, the course reviewed the concepts of forces and motion, atoms and molecules, acids and bases and the fundamentals of protein structure. The course proceeded to cover several special topics, including the role of shape in nature, the dynamics of the critically important filament protein actin, the assembly of the HIV capsid, and reshaping of biological membranes through lipid-protein interactions. The latter part of the course focused on the importance of computational tools in the study of biological problems, and introduced the students to basic uses of some of these tools. At every lecture, teachers were introduced to teaching modules and resources which were designed for them to use in their classrooms, so that their students could also learn about these concepts. Interested teachers can find enrollment information for this year's course by visiting the following website. The CMTS -SESAME course will be taught from July 29th to August 9th, 2013.



 Examples of some of the lectures from last year's course are available below: