THREE INTERACTIVE GAMES TO TEACH PLANT EVOLUTION, BIODIVERSITY, AND DEVELOPMENT
University of Bari (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The E-MoVe! project (Evolution of the Plant World) aims at disseminating information on biological evolution. The project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, includes a permanent exhibition located in the Botanical Garden Museum of the University of Bari (Italy), and the production of interactive games.
Three interactive games for teaching plant evolution have been designed so far:
1. The time machine. The player travels in time to see plants from the past ages. Using a drag-and-drop approach, the player is guided through six different levels of the game, each dealing with a major group of photosynthetic organisms (Cyanobacteria; Eukaryotic Algae; Bryophytes; Pteridophytes; Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms). After completing each level, a summary of the features of each group is given. A seventh level (accessible only after completing the six levels above) introduces the player to a possible future scenario, suggesting the appearance of novel plant species able to solve major environmental issues.
2. Plant evolution and biodiversity. The player associates the definition of a given photosynthetic organism with its picture and scientific name. Also in this game six different levels are given. The final screenshot of each level describes more in details the reasons underlying the evolutionary success of each group.
3. Gene expression and flower morphology. The player, by regulating the expression of genes involved in the determination of flower shape (ABC model), interacts with the development of the flowers of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyn.
The validation of the games has been carried out by interviewing students and school teachers. The results obtained showed broad interest in such novel teaching tools. The games will be made freely available to schools and scientific institutions worldwide. The English versions of all three games are currently in preparation. For contacts and requests: email@example.com