VIDEO GAME: A video game developed at Iowa State University is helping students understand biology better

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Teachers know the difficulty in teaching certain concepts to students, especially college professors.

Eve Wurtele is a professor in the Iowa State University Department of Genetics. She thought teaching students biological concepts of a cell from a text book was difficult, especially when you are dealing with a generation brought up on video games. So her team developed a game called Meta Blast.

The object of the game is to rescue Dr. Phylton and along the way there are problems to solve which help explain the inner workings of a cell. The game received honorable mention in the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge and was featured in the Journal of Science.

“We have a larger study going on right now, ten teachers in Iowa and ten teachers in Mississippi they’re going to begin analyzing the game and giving us input and that will help design the next version of their game,” says Wurtele.

Students or teachers interested in trying this game can log onto metablast.org. There are instructions for teachers who may want to use this as a tool to teach biology and ISU does want feedback.