Hands-on DNA: Using Mixed Reality for Scientific Education

Date: Saturday 2nd September

Time: 10:05am

Virtual Reality offers us new and effective ways to teach about spatial concepts like physical scale and 3D structure. Biochemistry is a field where students need to master these concepts and build detailed understandings of molecules that can’t normally be seen. We saw how the advantages of VR lined up with the specific difficulties of learning biochemistry and created Hands-on DNA to bridge the gap. This talk will explain the design choices made, how they were informed by research into pedagogy, and the lessons we learned about using VR for scientific education.

About the speaker

Sebastian is an experienced software developer that spent most of his career working on scientific applications that help researchers analyse DNA and protein sequences. A few years ago he decided to return to university to do a Masters in Bioinformatics and found himself drawn to science communication and education. For my Masters he learned Unity and worked with two other computer science students to produce Hands-on DNA, a VR learning experience about DNA. This experience helped him pivot into the interactive media and games industry, where he now works for Two Moos, part of Two Bulls / DEPT, creating educational content for a family audience. Sebastians dream is to spend the rest of his career designing and building games that teach people about biology and chemistry.