Dr. Tim Herman

Dr. Tim Herman, director of the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM), has received the 2016 Science Olympiad Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his work to improve the lives of students and teachers by inspiring them to learn, collaborate and achieve excellence in science education through participation in the Science Olympiad. The organization also noted that his efforts will bear fruit in the lives of the next generation, and that the country and world are a better place because of him.

The CBM developed the Protein Modeling Event for the Science Olympiad’s national tournament, which was held at the University of Wisconsin-Stout May 21-22. Science Olympiad features nearly two dozen competitive events for high school and middle school teams. The Protein Modeling Event began in 2004, has gained momentum and funding over the years, and is now offered across the country.

“When we started the Protein Modeling Event more than 10 years ago we had no idea that it would grow to have this much impact on students and teachers,” said Herman. “We believe that physical models make the molecular world come alive for students. We are grateful to all of the organizations that agree, and have helped support this valuable learning experience over the years.”

An innovative molecular education development laboratory, the CBM has created an impressive range of hands-on tools and programs to help students understand the molecular world. Many of its innovations are in use in classrooms throughout the U.S. and other countries, marketed by 3D Molecular Designs LLC (3DMD), the sister organization of the CBM.

The 2016 Science Olympiad Protein Modeling Event was a formal collaboration between the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling and the Protein Data Bank at Rutgers University. The event was supported by a Science Education Partnership Award and a Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award, both grants from the National Institutes of Health. A generous donation from Vertex Pharmaceuticals covered the cost of the onsite build materials. 3D Molecular Designs provided materials for this event and handled the packaging and distribution of kits to teams and tournament directors.