The RCSB PDB hosts local school trips, and gives tours and demonstrations to a wide variety of visitors. This past spring, the RCSB PDB also participated in several outreach programs in our local communities.
San Diego Science Festival
Throughout March and the beginning of April, the San Diego Science Festival (SDSF) brought together students, families, businesses, scientists, and communities for a series of fun (and free) events that highlighted the impact of science and innovation on our lives. Through this program, more than 200,000 people interacted with the San Diego’s local scientific community through various school, evening, and outreach programs.
Small Wonders Cave Tour
High School students and teachers from all over San Diego County visited the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as part of the Small Wonders program organized by the SDSF and UCSD. This April 1 event offered a day of exploration into the world of nanotechnology and advanced materials.
The RCSB PDB demonstrated the inner workings of proteins in the Calit2 Cave, an immersive environment that features a 5-walled projected virtual reality room with 68-million pixel resolution (for more information about the Cave, see www.scivee.tv/node/3648).
Students explored the architecture of protein structures, how RNA polymerase transcribes DNA into RNA, and how drugs such as HIV protease inhibitors work. Students and teachers alike were fascinated by both the beauty and the complexity of protein structures. This unique experience certainly sparked a keen interest in science among the students as the organizers had hoped.