Reading the Code

Reading the Code: Genetic Literacy Across the Middle School Curriculum

Project Coordinator: Rick Voithofer
Co-Pi – Kathy Trundle, School of Teaching and Learning, Science Education
Co-Pi – Adrienne Dixson, School of Teaching and Learning, Social Studies
Co-Pi – Diana Erchick, School of Teaching and Learning, Mathematics Education

Production Team
Mathew Lewis, ACCAD – Production Coordinator
Jonathan Eisenmann, CSI – Computer Programming
Lindsay Beach, Design – Interface Design

Partner- Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD)
Sherwood Middle School, Columbus City Schools
Wilson Middle School, Newark City Schools

Link to Program

This project addresses the emerging need for genetic literacy. Through the creation of a problem-based learning computer simulation, a learning technology is provided to middle school teachers and students that crosses mathematics, science, and social studies aspects of genetics. This helps the leaders, STEM workers, and citizens of tomorrow understand the impact of the growing body of genetic knowledge and increasing capacity for genetic manipulation. To address this goal a genetic evolutionary design system was developed to serve as the platform for demonstrating genetic concepts. Appealing animated cartoon faces can be selected, mated, and mutated, allowing the evolution of traits chosen by the software user.

The Co-PI’s from the College of Education and Human Ecology provided expertise in the areas of Mathematics education (Dr. Erchick), Social Studies education (Dr. Dixson), Science education (Dr. Trundle), and the development of educational technologies (Dr. Voithofer). The Co-PIs worked with Dr. Matthew Lewis and a team of graduate students at Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD). Dr. Lewis and his graduate students have been researching, designing, and developing visual interfaces that harness genetic algorithms to create interactive evolutionary design tools for over a decade.

Funding provided by: The Battelle Endowment for Technology & Human Affairs (BETHA)
Starting Date: July 1, 2010
Completion Date: June 30, 2011