BioSim: Developing a Wearable Toolkit for Teaching Complex Science to Young Children Through Embodied Play


Complex systems are widespread and the conceptual ability to describe and examine complex-systems-related concepts is generative, supporting youth in potentially understanding a wide range of issues across domains. BioSim, a participatory simulation where young students (grades K-3) enact the roles of honeybees and biological systems through the assistance of electronically-enhanced e-puppets, is designed to enhance youths’ understanding of complex systems though novel combinations of play, reflection, interaction and exploration. This study capitalizes upon the alignment between participatory simulations and the play activities of young children, who are already apt to explore topics of interest to them through play-acting and games. BioSim is a partnership between The Creativity Labs @ Indiana University, the Center for Research on Learning and Technology (CRLT), IU Biology's Moczek Lab, and WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology. Support for this project comes from the National Science Foundation (Grant #1324047).


Project Members


Dr. Kylie Peppler

Dr. Joshua Danish

Dr. Armin Moczek, Biology

Janis Watson

Shenshen Han

Naomi Thompson