Our research paper demonstrates learning with our games: Get Paper.
Download Mac, PC and Linux versions of Immune Defense: by registering with the form on the right of this page. The game is free, and we are happy to share it. We would just like to know who you are and hear your stories about using our game in your classroom!
Play right now (free) in your browser at Kongregate.com.
(Use any web browser except Chrome!)
If you need assistance, email Melanie at MolecularJig at Gmail.com.
What standards do we touch on? Many! Middle school and High School! Download a PDF of the Next Generation Science Standards and a bit of explanation about how we attempt to address each one. Download NGSS and Immune Defense.
Why we made Immune Defense:
We know that misconceptions are hard to “unteach.” So we should present the behaviors of molecules and cells to younger people and to non-scientists in fun ways that let us manipulate the molecules and cells. Teachers can build upon the intuitive understanding by explaining the concepts in formal terms.
Here are a few concepts we address:
1. There is more to science than memorizing facts! Everything in Immunology/Molecular and cellular Biology is not yet done, in fact we are the edge of many great discoveries.
2. Science is a puzzle to figure out.
3. Proteins have specific functions that their shapes prepare them for.
4. Proteins/molecules/cells cannot see where they are going, random processes form a well regulated system, that can easily be upset.
5. Protein localization is important factor in its regulation.
6. Loss/decrease in concentration of a protein causes loss (or gain) of a particular function.
We plan to create videos for teachers to use in class to refer to the game while speaking about the formal concepts in class. For example, we have created a sample video on the concept of random motion. Random is difficult to understand. It is difficult for us to realize that the cells cannot see the bacteria, and harder perhaps to envision the purple complement factors forming a gradient… But in the game we show an accurate randomly moving cloud of complement proteins and a cell that moves only when it binds to one of those randomly moving complement factors.
A teacher could show the above video in order to introduce the concepts of random motion, diffusion and how cells interact with their environment through receptors. To introduce diffusion, a teacher could use these purple complement proteins as examples. Follow up questions for kids who have played the game–or who just watched this video, are here:
Can you predict where the proteins will be?
Do the proteins always move away from the E coli?
Can we predict which what the cells will move?
We invite teachers to contact us to discuss using Immune Defense and our videos as part of your curriculum.