Retention and Graduation Commercial for the Project Molecular Beauty

Reflections from Mike and Jaehoon

Mike, “This project has allowed me to explore different 3D animation programs such as Blender and PyMol which can be used to help visualize molecules and chemical compounds. Using these programs has helped me to better understand chemical reactions by actually being able to see reactions occur in 3-Dimensional space. I think that is a great tool that can be used to simplify complex chemical reactions and mechanisms for future students. I have always grasped material best when I am able to visualize it as opposed to simply reading it in a text book. These programs allow for a more thorough understanding of course material. My ultimate goal is to become a physician while still performing clinical research. Working and becoming familiar with programs such as Blender and PyMol will allow me to incorporate these programs into future research.”

Jaehoon, “There is no doubt that animation of chemical reactions is the best training aid for students rather than seeing drawings. It is quite amazing that we can use today‚Äôs latest technology to help students see different chemical reactions. We went from power point slides, to pod cast, but video animation of chemical reactions is the definitely the next level. Animations and editing is not my thing, but I definitely enjoyed to try something outside by interest. It is actually not too difficult to perform basic animations, just time consuming. But I can see that animations can help students in many ways in subjects such as Biology, and Chemistry to see animations of DNA replications and chemical reactions.”

Reflections from Moon and Amey

Moon, “I found this project to be a very rewarding experience in the sense that I now get to be in the position where I am teaching organic chemistry to an audience. I have always considered using my talents towards pursuing the immeasurable and priceless philanthropy, which is the genuine art of teaching. I was greatly interested in this project since learning of it. It gave me a chance to be the active and curious learner that I was before, except this time I was thinking as a student from a teacher’s perspective to figure out what the best method will be in conveying this organic chemistry knowledge. Using software called Blender, Amey and I were able to create an animation of a simple molecular reaction. I am glad to be able to use what I have learned to help increase the student audiences’ motivation to learn and become better in STEM studies.”

Amey, “Everyone speaks of Organic Chemistry as a deal breaker or a tree shaker course. I persevered through general chemistry and I was not ready to throw in the towel. My first semester of Organic Chemistry was indeed difficult, but Professor Gonzalez explained exactly on the first day of class how one succeeds in Organic Chemistry. I have learned that Organic Chemistry is like learning how to dance. Each reaction mechanism needs to be visualized through each step, and practiced over and over again. It is not enough to rely on memory because it requires problem-solving skills. Reinforcing such conceptual problem solving requires many tutorials outside the classroom setting. The animation project that I participated in is designed to help students visualize the reaction mechanisms of a specific reactions. Until now there have been no 3D animated tutorials. I find this work to be relevant and essential for students like myself who require additional help.
The project was surprisingly fun. I enjoyed learning how animations are made using the software programs Blender and Pymol. I have a newfound respect for how science and technology can come together and provide interactive tools that are invaluable educational resources. Understanding how to create molecules and being involved in the process has most certainly increased my interest and understanding of the subject. My confidence has also increased. I am no longer embarrassed to reach out to other professors and ask them questions about concepts I do not understand. I also feel less intimidated and more open to have conversations with professors and faculty about subject material that I personally find exciting. In fact, working on this project has helped me to realize that I am much more capable of understanding complex processes. This awareness has inspired me to want more for myself and to reach beyond what I think I am capable of, which is why I applied to competitive schools such as NYU and Cornell University. This experience has been great and I am looking forward to seeing the progression of the animations project in the future.”

Reflections from Ndeye and Angeli

Ndeye, ” This summer, my research in City College will be 3D printing in the biomedical engineering department. I wanted to be part of this research because as a student, I know how difficult it is to visualize a chemical reaction; therefore, I wanted to contribute my knowledge and help students by developing this 3D animation. Also I never used Blender and it was a challenge. Upon receiving my associate’s degree, I am looking forward to further pursuing this kind of research at a four-year college or university.”

Angeli, “This project exposed me to software programs that I can use in the future. At first, learning this new software and seeing the procedures that had to be done to assemble a simple molecule was a challenge since I had never done anything like it before. However, after many tries and practice the daunting aspect of learning the software went away and it has given me the confidence to approach other programs in the same manner. This is particularly helpful because in the next few months I will be working with another professor at LaGuardia CC and we will be using new programs to perform data reduction. Furthermore, when I began this project I saw it as it as another stepping-stone in my academic career because organic chemistry is extremely important in the biological sciences therefore understanding the processes of reactions and the reason they occur can help better understand life and how it works. Working on this project gave me the opportunity to construct reactions and see them from a whole new perspective. Finally this project added another layer to my academic life and made me more responsible and more able to multi-task.”