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Labster Uses Gaming To Teach Biotech Skills

| 27 Jul 2013 05:30

The new virtual laboratory game lets students get experience with expensive equipment.

In elementary school, science class is an exciting time to learn how the world works. However, once students take things to the next level, a world of tedious, hard work awaits them. Turns out, not being like CSI is making science a hard sell to kids these days. Harvard grad Mads Bonde wants to make science, specifically biotechnology, more accessible with Labster, a virtual laboratory that aims to teach both basic principles and applications, all without requiring expensive equipment.

"Many students drop out of their degrees at the beginning, where they have a lot of basic learning that is often far removed from the potential exciting future they are heading to," Bonde says. The idea behind Labster is to link everything back to a real-world application and demonstrate why the boring stuff's important.

To that end, Labster uses real-world situations to teach. Players will perform virtual experiments to do everything from sequence DNA from ancient bones to identify murderers. Meanwhile, they'll get experience using millions of dollars of lab equipment. Bonde's team's even working on a lab builder, which would allow schools to build their own dream labs.

Labster runs right in your web browser. If the idea of virtual lab work sounds appealing, you can sign up for a free account and start solving cases right away.

Source: New Statesmen

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