A Biotic Game Design Project for Integrated Life Science and Engineering Education

Nate J. Cira, Alice M. Chung, Aleksandra K. Denisin, Stefano Rensi, Gabriel N. Sanchez, Stephen R. Quake, Ingmar H. Riedel-Kruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Engaging, hands-on design experiences are key for formal and informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Robotic and video game design challenges have been particularly effective in stimulating student interest, but equivalent experiences for the life sciences are not as developed. Here we present the concept of a "biotic game design project" to motivate student learning at the interface of life sciences and device engineering (as part of a cornerstone bioengineering devices course). We provide all course material and also present efforts in adapting the project's complexity to serve other time frames, age groups, learning focuses, and budgets. Students self-reported that they found the biotic game project fun and motivating, resulting in increased effort. Hence this type of design project could generate excitement and educational impact similar to robotics and video games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1002110
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 25 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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