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Friday, October 4 • 4:30pm - 5:30pm
CellEnergy: Cell Biology Can Be Fun

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CellEnergy is an iOS educational app we developed to teach the basics of photosynthesis and cellular respiration for high school life science courses. Through our many exploratory interviews with biology teachers, photosynthesis was identified as a particularly difficult subject area to engage students with, both because of its abstract nature and the invisible cellular processes it involves. As such we felt it was an ideal topic to address through an interactive learning app. CellEnergy exemplifies a hybrid approach to learning apps, in which the focus is primarily on learning outcomes with game-like elements incorporated to make complex processes visible in an engaging and a playful way. The activities in CellEnergy are based on multiple evidence-based learning practices, such as retrieval practice, spaced learning, and immediate feedback. Virtual labs provide inquiry-based learning and reinforcement of science practices in the context of photosynthesis. The sequence of activities centers around a narrative in which users grow and harvest plants in order to create a common snack, like chips and salsa, highlighting the relevance of photosynthesis in students’ everyday lives. Students use points earned to purchase supplies and decorative features for their “outdoor kitchen”, which provides a motivational incentive for completing activities and adds a layer of game-like engagement. Our project culminated in a cluster randomized controlled trial that included over 600 students in 22 high school biology classrooms. We demonstrated that using CellEnergy resulted in significantly greater learning gains in both photosynthesis concept knowledge and science practices knowledge compared to standard instruction.

avatar for Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon

President, Andamio Games
I'm President of Andamio Games, a subsidiary of Adventium Labs. We're focused on using mobile apps to teach difficult-to-learn subjects in education and small business. I have a background in ed-tech, marketing, start-ups, teaching and ballroom dance.
avatar for Katrina Schleisman

Katrina Schleisman

Applied Learning Scientist, Andamio Games
I'm an applied learning scientist and designer at Andamio Games in Minneapolis, MN. I love to talk about how learning and memory research can be applied to the design of learning games. Our company creates STEM learning games using evidence-based learning principles. We partner with... Read More →

Friday October 4, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom D 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697