LIVERMORE -- Supercomputing will take center stage at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore for the 20th year of the free "Science on Saturday" lecture series, beginning this weekend.

The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory series of four lectures will feature talks by leading researchers and high school science teachers and is targeted to middle and high school students. This year's theme is computational modeling, covering topics such as exploring nature via computer simulation, fusion modeling, microbes and simulating the human heart on the world's fastest supercomputer.

Kicking off the series is "Computer Simulation: Exploring Nature With a Computer," by lab scientist Vic Castillo and Monte Vista High School teacher Rodger Johnson on Saturday. On Feb. 8, scientist Frederico Fiuza and Los Gatos High School teacher Dan Burns will present "Fusion Modeling: Using Big Computers to Understand One of the Universe's Biggest Secrets."

Scientist Beth Vitalis and Tracy High School teacher Dean Reese will follow with "Menacing Microbes: Protein Models Reveal Secrets" on Feb. 22. And scientist David Richards and Tracy High School teacher Erin McKay will conclude the series March 1 with "The Cardioid Project: Simulating the Human Heart on the World's Fastest Supercomputer."

The lectures will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. each Saturday at no cost. Seating is on a first-come basis. The series is also available via livestream at new.livestream.com/LivermoreLab. Viewers watching along remotely will be able to pose questions to presenters and engage in a live chat. For more information, visit education.llnl.gov/students/science-on-saturday, call Richard Farnsworth at 925-422-5059 or email farnsworth1@llnl.gov.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.