RNA VirtuaLab Game

Molecular engineers play with RNA to develop new therapies that could save lives. Young scientists fold RNA into specific shapes using the pairing rules. They apply knowledge about the relative strength of bonds and shape-shifting RNA functions through a series of 24 virtual labs. Once they understand each step, they help scientists at Carnegie Mellon University design new RNA strands to be tested in real labs.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Offer extra credit for those that earn 10,000 points on Eterna
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Adobe Flash
  • The entire virtual lab game takes well over an hour to complete, so allow plenty of time or assign small parts for homework over the course of your unit
Pros

  • Each puzzle gets progressively more difficult and applies the previous skills
  • Offers multiple types of support so everyone can succeed
  • Players win a badge after every sixth completed puzzle
Cons

  • None