"Molecules to the MAX" and Molecularium are owned, funded, and managed by Rensselaer, with additional funding support from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Schadler, professor of materials science and engineering at Rensselaer with a career-long interest in science education outreach to young people, created the concept of Molecularium circa 2001. She worked to develop and expand it with Siegel and Garde, who is a computer modeling expert and head of Rensselaer's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Molecularium has since become the flagship educational outreach project of Rensselaer's NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures, which is led by Siegel.
Schadler, Garde, and Siegel released the first Molecularium movie, "Riding Snowflakes," in early 2005. This 23-minute digital show, created specifically to be shown in planetarium domes, is still in distribution worldwide and is currently in the process of being translated into several different languages. The award-winning movie has been lauded by both educators and science advocacy groups as a triumph. Director V. Owen Bush, producer Kurt Przybilla, and art director Chris Harvey of the "Riding Snowflakes" production company, now called Nanotoon Entertainment, returned to work on "Molecules to the MAX," but the quality, animation, and technology behind the new show far outstrips the first, Siegel said. The script for the new movie was created through a collaboration of executive producers Siegel, Schadler, and Garde, along with Bush and Przybilla.
When watching either movie, it's easy for viewers to overlook the fact that they're witnessing some of the largest and most complex scientific computations ever conducted. The background animations of atoms and molecules in "Riding Snowflakes" and "Molecules to the MAX" are derived from accurate, state-of-the-art theoretical molecular model
|Contact: Michael Mullaney|
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute