New app, educational game gets its inspiration from phytoplankton

August 14, 2018, University of Maine
Credit: University of Maine

Marine phytoplankton are the inspiration for a new mobile application and educational game launched by University of Maine assistant professor of new media and intermedia Gene Felice.

The app, called Phyto Heroes, is an outcome of an interactive art exhibit Oceanic Scales, developed by Felice and Jennifer Parker at University of California Santa Cruz, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Phyto Heroes explores phytoplankton as a scientific and artistic research subject through an interactive game system designed for third through fifth grade students and beyond, supplemented with 10 downloadable lesson plans for instructors. The goal is to illustrate how environmental factors such as pH, temperature and nitrogen levels affect the ocean.

Phytoplankton play an important role in supporting life on Earth. As producers of carbon, these microscopic algae are the first link in the , supporting the world's food and, heroically, producing more than half of the oxygen breathed by humans.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Oceans of garbage prompt war on plastics

December 15, 2018

Faced with images of turtles smothered by plastic bags, beaches carpeted with garbage and islands of trash floating in the oceans, environmentalists say the world is waking up to the need to tackle plastic pollution at the ...

A damming trend

December 14, 2018

Hundreds of dams are being proposed for Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. The negative social and environmental consequences—affecting everything from food security to the environment—greatly outweigh the positive ...

Data from Kilauea suggests the eruption was unprecedented

December 14, 2018

A very large team of researchers from multiple institutions in the U.S. has concluded that the Kilauea volcanic eruption that occurred over this past summer represented an unprecedented volcanic event. In their paper published ...

The long dry: global water supplies are shrinking

December 13, 2018

A global study has found a paradox: our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain. And the culprit is the drying of soils, say researchers, pointing to a world where drought-like ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.