April 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 8)
Strong Points: Great interactive exercises, free
Weak Points: None
The Next-Generation Molecular Workbench is a suite of free interactive simulations from The Concord Symposium designed to teach students key concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics. These resources can all be accessed from the Molecular Workbench website. Many of the interactive activities model molecular dynamics. The website is beautifully designed, explaining the features and uses of Molecular Workbench activities through videos and nice illustrations. Educational content on the site is divided into two types: The STEM Interactives are composed of molecular modeling simulation exercises while the STEM Activities combine the simulations with assessment questions and text explanations to provide more complete curricular modules. All of the simulations run in the browser, so there is nothing that needs to be downloaded. In addition, the website includes instructions for teachers on how to embed the interactive activities in their own course websites.