Codon Conquerors: A Didactic Game of Molecular Biology

Growing up I had an interest in science but never had the confidence or tools to see myself as a scientist. Codon Conquest is my attempt at making molecular biology approachable and interactive for kids who are reaching an age where they want to fine-tune their interests. This card game will teach players the basics of transcription and translation through competing against friends to “build” an amino acid. I wanted to create a way to cultivate an interest in science that engages the whole family and I believe playing games can be an excellent and immersive didactic tool. To keep the game as accessible as possible, the game will be available through a free PDF download in which players can print and cut out their own playing cards. There will also be a downloadable PDF on how to play the game with the relevant biological concepts explained throughout. To make this game more visible to the community, the game will be advertised on local websites like the public library and the children’s museum. I hope to inspire the love and awe I feel for science in the children that play this game so that they may be enlightened to the rich and exciting knowledge that lies in the fields of science!

Project Author(s): 
Author Bio(s): 
Grace is a senior from Iowa City majoring in neuroscience and minoring in art history. She is conducting research in Stefan Strack’s lab in the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology. Her research deals with identifying the role of novel protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) mutations in rare intellectual disabilities. As a Latham Fellow, Grace hopes to make science accessible and interesting to those in her community. She also hopes to show her peers the importance of making sustainable choices and solutions to living a more sustainable lifestyle. In her free time Grace loves visiting new art museums and spending time with friends and family.