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RICE Web Adventures: MedMyst Games - Scientific Method

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://webadventures.rice.edu/

Website Example: http://webadventures.rice.edu/stu/Games/MedMyst/

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

This site from Rice University offers seven different games to help students learn about microbiology and how scientific work is conducted in the real world. Assign these games to students who are learning about the scientific method, scientific research, microbiology, and careers in science.

Preparation

  1. Choose and preview the game you want your students to play. In this example, we will play Disease Defenders. This game teaches about forming and testing a hypothesis in the context of trying to prevent an epidemic of rabies.
  2. Visit the Main Web page and select the graphic for MedMyst in the center of the page. Enter the For Educators section, then select the Disease Defenders game. Preview the group activities for students by selecting Teacher Materials in the left navigation bar, choose the one(s) you want to do, and print the necessary handouts and answer keys.
  3. Once you introduce your students to the concepts, direct them to the Example Web Site (above) and let them play the game on their own or in pairs. Emphasize that they should explore every option in order to get the most from the game.

How-To

  1. Introduce the professions of microbiologist, veterinarian, and epidemiologist. Students will learn what they do, and will conduct an activity with them.
  2. You might want to preview the vocabulary before students play the game. There is a vocabulary worksheet provided on the teacher site under Teacher Materials, with an answer key.
  3. Assign students to play the game on the computer, alone or with a partner. The teacher materials offer a Mission Log for each mission - microbiologist, veterinarian and epidemiologist. The Mission Log with help students take notes and remember what they learn.
  4. When students have finished the game (the site suggests this will take about 45 minutes), review key concepts such as independent and dependent variable.
  5. The Teacher Materials offer handouts for small group projects related to the topic. For instance, for Disease Defenders, you can hand out a line chart showing the number of rabies cases in different animals over time. In the project, students practice reading data from authentic sources.

Teacher Tips

  • Be sure to preview and choose your handouts before you send your students to the game. You might have a project ready for early finishers, as students are likely to take different amounts of time on the game.
  • Best taught in a computer lab with Internet access, where students can work individually or in pairs.

More Ways

  • Teacher Materials for each game include an issue of MedMyst magazine with additional articles for practice reading scientific information.

Select subjects and subcategories

Science

  • Biology
  • General Science
  • Health and Life Science
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.