Chimera is a program for interactive visualization and analysis of molecular structures and related data, including density maps, supramolecular assemblies, sequence alignments, docking results, trajectories, and conformational ensembles. High-quality images and animations can also be generated. Chimera includes documentation and tutorials, and can be downloaded free of charge for academic, government, non-profit, and personal use. Chimera was developed at UCSF and was funded by the National Institute of Health.
Homepage - http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/
With Chimera, you can built simple molecules for viewing, which by itself is a good program. The real power of Chimera is to find, download and view large biomolecules. With protein structures, you can highlight inidividual amino acids, the alpha chains, or the active site.
The program is open source (freeware).
Students should be able to build and view the 3-d aspect of small molecules.
Students should be able to download and view biomolecules.
In using this program in General Chemistry, the students should be able to visualize the structure of simple molecule and understand the bond angles. The more important use of the program is to bridge biology and chemistry for the first-year students.