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Whyville is Seriously Fun! © 2008 Numedeon, Inc..

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Presentation on theme: "Whyville is Seriously Fun! © 2008 Numedeon, Inc.."— Presentation transcript:

1 Whyville is Seriously Fun! © 2008 Numedeon, Inc.

2 What is Whyville? With over 6 million registered users, Whyville is the leading education- focused virtual world for teens and pre-teens. Launched in 1999, Whyville is a vibrant, kid-safe virtual city designed to engage young people in constructive educational activities while promoting socially responsible behavior. Inside Whyville, citizens learn about art history, science, journalism, civics, economics, and so much more. Whyville works with sponsors like the AALAS Foundation to bring dynamic educational content to kids in an incredibly engaging manner. Whyville works with sponsors like the AALAS Foundation to bring dynamic educational content to kids.

3 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Whyville Fast Facts 6 million registered users 2 million monthly visits About 60,000 new boys and girls register as citizens each month. On average, citizens spends more than 30+ minutes per visit in Whyville. Average monthly time spent per user: 3.1 hours More girls, but lots of boys (70%-30%) Parents, grandparents and teachers comprise 10% of users The Foundation is leveraging the power of Whyville to develop a series of fun, educational activities in a virtual laboratory

4 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Why Whyville? The hands-on, inquiry-based nature of Whyville enables the Foundation to teach kids about the benefits of biomedical research in a creative, fun way. Whyville’s customized interactive activities allow the Foundation to expand beyond traditional outreach efforts like posters and brochures. Exposing kids to engaging educational activities can substantially shape opinions and influence future career choices.

5 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Why is Public Outreach Important? The future of laboratory animal science depends on public acceptance of animal research. Without public support, our industry will no longer have the necessary political, legal or financial support to continue. AALAS Foundation Goals Further public understanding, respect and support for the life sciences Educate current and future leaders about the essential role of animals in biomedical research Maintain a pipeline of passionate, talented individuals pursuing careers in laboratory animal science

6 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. What Challenges Do We Face? Declining Student Interest in Science Research pinpoints the middle school years as a time when students, especially girls, lose interest in science Public Opinion Disconnect 93% of scientists favor the use of animals in research 52% of the public supports the use of animals in research Animal Rights Activists Well-funded animal rights activists are targeting children to perpetuate their detrimental message that animal research is unnecessary, invalid, and cruel. Whyville is a powerful tool the Foundation can use to promote public understanding, respect and support for the life sciences.

7 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Praise For Whyville “Whyville has managed to do the impossible – generate massive interest in science among adolescent girls.” -Christian Science Monitor ““Whyville's great, and safe. It helped me realize what I want to do when I grow up, and the games are really, really fun.” - Sims2girl, Whyville Citizen Whyville users spend an average of 30+ minutes per visit, ranking Whyville #1 among educational web sites for kids - ComScore “Whyville supports the use of computers by kids the way that scientists use computers: for data collection, data visualization, simulation and modeling, and scientific communication. - Wendy Li, 6th grade teacher “My daughter has benefited enormously from her citizenship in Whyville and I have directly observed the effects of your efforts in her growth and development. - Father of CatGirl

8 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. AALAS Foundation in Whyville The AALAS Foundation worked with the creators of Whyville to create three customized games to teach citizens about the essential role of animals in biomedical research.

9 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Habitat Preparation Game Citizens compete against one another to build animal habitats Goal is to create as many habitats in the time allotted to earn “clams” A good introduction to the topic of laboratory animal science

10 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Critter Care Game Citizens take on role of animal caretakers in a research facility and earn clams for keeping animals healthy

11 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Critter Care Game Citizens must care for four animals in each portal Sick animals are “red-tagged” and sent to a veterinarian for care

12 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Critter Care Game Kids are responsible for feeding, cleaning, weighing and evaluating the health of laboratory animals. Citizens become certified animal caretakers after successfully caring for each animal three times.

13 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Critter Care Game Kids are provided immediate feedback as to whether they provided each animal with the proper care

14 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. AALAS Solitaire Citizens match a series of cards to link biomedical research to treatments and cures developed for life-threatening ailments

15 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Informational Brochures The lobby and each game contain brochures to provide kids with more information about laboratory animal science The brochures link to existing Foundation resources like the Kids 4 Research web site and Careers in Laboratory Animal Science video.

16 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Survey Capabilities Whyville collects data on total number of users who play our games, total hours involved, and depth of involvement. In addition, the Foundation can conduct surveys of Whyville users, both before and after they participate in our games, to quantify the educational benefits of our activities. Our ability to continuously measure the success of this outreach effort is a key reason why our involvement in Whyville is so appealing. Do you like science? a) Science is awesome! It's my favorite subject! b) It's okay, but I like other subjects better. c) Ick! I can't stand science! d) I'm not sure/I haven't had science. Animal research is necessary to develop cures and treatments for diseases that impact people and animals. a) Strongly Agree b) Agree c) Not Sure/No Opinion d) Disagree e) Strongly Disagree

17 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. How Can You Help? The AALAS Foundation relies on your support to launch important public outreach programs like Whyville. To make a tax-deductible donation to the AALAS Foundation, please visit the Ways to Give page on the Foundation web site.Ways to Give Founded in 1999, the AALAS Foundation supports educational outreach on the essential role of responsible laboratory animal care and use in science to advance human and animal health. The Foundation develops educational materials, web-based public information resources, and training to help educate the public, students, and government officials about the importance of quality laboratory animal care, research, and medicine. It’s Not Just a Donation. It’s an Investment in your future!

18 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Visit Whyville To experience Whyville, please view the log-in instructions on the AALAS Foundation Whyville information page.log-in instructions

19 © 2008 Numedeon, Inc. Questions? Mike Mathy Foundation Administrator AALAS Foundation 9190 Crestwyn Hills Drive Memphis, TN (901)


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