Field Test Immune Defense Game
9th & 10th Grade Students and Teachers: Field Test Immune Defense Online Video Game
In collaboration with the Federation of American Scientists, MICDL is developing a new online video game called "Immune Defense.” Together with related learning activities, Immune Defense will teach high school students about cell biology, biochemistry and immunology. More specifically, students will learn about: proteins, receptors, cells, the immune system; how cells work together to track, destroy and warn other cells about pathogens; the affinity of molecules for their receptors; random diffusion of molecules in a space; how cells respond to signals, differentiation and gene regulation. These advanced concepts are presented in a game format: with easy bits of interaction drawing players into more complex situation, and each concept building slowing upon the previous ones.
RECRUITING FOR FALL of 2013
Right now: We are testing the game itself for how much it engages your students as well as what they remember after playing. We are testing the related material for engagement and learning effectiveness as well. By the end of Summer 2013 we will have a completed game, a set of lecture that presents the biology concepts presented in the game, an in-class activity for teachers and students that also addresses the concepts, and finally, a test of knowledge and confidence gained. All responses are confidential, teachers can have access to the answers if they wish. To participate, read the following protocol, and then register here.
In Fall 2013: The game and related activities will be ready for our evaluation. The evaluation will require three class periods. On the first two days, your students will participate in two of the following three activities: playing the game, watching our lectures, or completing the teacher led group activity (we’ll show you how the simple activity works). On the third day, all students will take an online test of knowledge and survey of confidence. For the Fall Evaluation, students should not have played the game and should not have learned cell biology, proteins and receptors. All responses are confidential, teachers can have access to the answers if they wish. To participate, read the following protocol, and then register here.
For the Fall, we need students who have not yet learned about cells and proteins and receptors. Because the experimental design is interesting, and because our biochemist who designed the game and the evaluation is happy to discuss the experiment and data with your students, we suggest that you implement our protocol at the very beginning of the school year. It would be an excellent chance to discuss the scientific method, negative and positive controls and interpretation of data. Melanie Stegman has good experience speaking with many classes through Google Hangout or Skype. All discussion of the experiment should occur after the students have participated.
These three class periods could be considered a mini-unit in 9th or 10th grade high school science (or technology) classes, and would involve students in a highly engaging learning experience that teaches important content. It would also give students a meaningful experience as a reflective participant in a well-designed scientific investigation that will help determine the factors that impact the effectiveness of video games in learning. Teachers may want to carry-out this mini-unit as a short break between other units or just before a holiday break. Teachers whose classes participate in testing will receive gift certificates.
If you are interested in just playing the game and don't wish to participate in any field testing, you may simply download the game, it is free. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the game. And please call or write with any technical or other issues or suggestions!
For general information about the game and related activities, including samples of game art, game mechanics, objectives, and content standards, please click here.
If you have questions, please contact Amy Wilmot, Maine International Center for Digital Learning, at email@example.com or 207-370-7338.