NSF GRANT, Lifeboat to Mars
Red Hill received a generous grant from the National Science Foundation to produce a set of engaging educational games for PBSKids.org to teach middle school level biology concepts. The project involved the development of two detailed simulations of biological systems and then the use of those simulations to drive educational games intended for use by children ages 8 to 12.
One simulation models the metabolism of a fictitious microbe in a simulated environment. The second simulation models interconnected population dynamics of plant, herbivore, and carnivore species. The models were developed in collaboration with experts from the Biological Science Curriculum Study in Colorado Springs.
The game engines were built to not only support rich and engaging game experiences, but also to allow players to create their own versions of the games (‘mods’) through a simplified user interface. Since the game site was launched at PBSKids.org in January of 2010, more than 8000 new game levels have been created by kids and uploaded to the site for other to play.