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RICE Web Adventures: MedMyst Games - Viruses and Vaccines

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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.


Choose and preview the game you want your students to play. In this example, we will play Nemesis in Neuropolis. This game teaches about viruses and vaccines.

Enter the For Teachers section, preview the group activities for students, choose the one(s) you want to do and print the necessary handouts and answer keys.

Once you introduce your students to the concepts, 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.


  1. Introduce the concepts of virus and vaccine, and explain that you will learn how to identify a virus, and how to create a vaccine, and what the risks of vaccines are.
  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 resources offer a Mission Log which will help students take notes and remember what they learn.
  4. When students have finished the game (the site suggests this will take about 30 minutes), review key concepts such as virus, vaccine, RNA.
  5. The Teacher Materials offer handouts for small group projects related to the topic. For instance, for Nemesis in Neuropolis, there are two whole group activities that teach about viral transmission and about the body's defense against viruses. Both activities take some prep and should be previewed before using.

Teacher Tips

  • Be sure to preview and choose your handouts before you send your students to the game.
  • Best taught in a computer lab with Internet access, where students can work individually or in pairs.

More Ways

  • The classroom activities handouts contain suggestions for extension activities.
  • Teacher Materials for each game include an issue of MedMyst magazine with additional articles for practice reading scientific information.

Select subjects and subcategories


  • 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.