Institute for Chemistry Literacy Through Computational Science
The Institute for Chemistry Literacy through Computational Science (ICLCS) is a program of the University of Illinois' Department of Chemistry , College of Medicine , and National Center for Supercomputing Applications . In addition partners include A-C Central School District and 92 additional school districts across Illinois representing 99 ICLCS Fellows. This program is a 5-year National Science Foundation funded Math Science Partnership program to increase the chemistry literacy and chemistry-related pedagogical skills of rural Illinois high school teachers.
The vision for the program is to prepare rural Illinois chemistry teachers and their students for the 21st Century through content, computational tools, teaching methodology, and leadership development to meet the following goals:
- Strengthen high school teachers' and students' understanding of chemistry and the application of chemistry to the world around them;
- Instill in teachers a sense of confidence and competence about their ability to teach chemistry, with a focus on using computational tools, modeling and visualization;
- Build a strong learning community among research faculty and high school teachers to enable year-round professional development; and
- Create a cadre of leaders who will become advocates for excellence in mathematics and science.
Cloud Computing for Education
The computing cloud at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) hosts web server
application WebMO as a computational tool for quantum chemistry calculations. The application was opened for use by ICLCS Fellows during their 2008 summer workshops and has
since expanded to include Fellows' high-school students. Since then, usage expanded rapidly with the introduction of the computational tool to a series of undergraduate
organic chemistry courses at the University of Illinois. NCSA's Cloud, built for robustness using known, reliable methods for delivering a highly available and
fault-tolerant service, has been key in providing the cyber-infrastructure to enable our continued increase in usage in Education over the course of nearly two years. The
current environment is providing key data to guide the continued expansion of computational tools for education in order to make use of a full 1% of NCSA's total computing
power, including the Blue Waters sustained petascale computer coming online in 2011.
Computational Chemistry Visualizations - Using a research-grade simulation package, Dr. Mashl has developed several visualizations illustrating fundamental physical chemical principles, such as dissolving of salt in water, the melting of ice, the separation of oil and water, and the encapsulation of oil by detergent.