HG Helix Educator Resources Classroom Implementation

Classroom Implementation

Expected Length of Activity

This activity allows teachers great flexibility in implementation. Missions can be completed in a single class period, over the course of several days, or as outside of class homework. Typically high school students can complete an entire individual mission in 90 minutes or less. Completing a mission involves working through 3 data analysis modules followed by total risk assessment and packing. Each module should take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. Multiplayer missions, requiring collaborative packing, will require additional time for discussion. Teachers are encouraged to play at least one mission themselves to better judge the amount of time their students will require.

Ways to Use the Activity

The Touching Triton activity lends itself to highly varied classroom applications. Teachers are encouraged to review the module's learning objectives to determine best fit with individual curricula. Some suggested curriculum inclusions are:

  • Use at the beginning of a unit on complex genetics to introduce and teach keys concepts such as the concept that most human disease is a complex interaction among genes and environmental factors.
  • Use at the end of a basic genetics unit to extend basic Mendelian genetics to a more modern appreciation of the complex nature of most human disease. This activity provides students opportunities to apply concepts learned in the unit to a complex, "real world" problem.
  • Have students complete individual data set modules at several points during a unit on Human Inheritance. Using modules interspersed throughout the unit allows for greater attention to specific content and allows time for teacher led discussions of each activity.
  • As an extended homework assignment or project. Students, even in teams, can work at home to complete each of the data analyses modules. Students can work at their own pace, within timelines set by the teacher. Work is saved in each activity and students may log in and out over the course of several days. Class time can be used to discuss progress, reinforce science content encountered in game play and help students analyze each crew member's overall risk.
  • Students can complete multiple missions over a course. For example, Touching Triton can be used to introduce a genetics unit. Students can be directed to complete a second mission following instruction on Mendelian genetics and a third mission at unit completion. During each mission, direct students to focus on particular aspects of the mission. For example, during one mission students may be asked to pay particular attention to the family history module while later missions may ask students to focus on overall risk assessment.

Download Learning Concepts.pdf

Single-player vs Multiplayer

The Touching Triton activity may be run single-player or multi-player. In single player game, a student (or pair of students functioning as a single player) has the option to complete all data sets for all crew members, or to complete a single crew member and select "autocomplete" to have the remaining crew members' data analyzed by the computer. Single player games include the packing activity which engages students in packing the medical equipment the crew is likely to need based on their assessment of individual crew member's risk. Student work is saved constantly within each activity, and students may return over multiple sessions to complete the mission.

In the multi-player game, each member of the team completes the data analysis for one of the six crew members. Following the completion of risk analyses, team members work collaboratively to pack the shared crew space. Individual players will be responsible for packing for their crew member in the Personal space. Other players may not alter what is packed in an individual crew member's space. Crew space is shared among all members of the crew and includes materials that may be used by multiple crew members. All team members have access to shared crew space and may add or remove items.

With collaborative packing, student teams are encouraged to work together to maximize the use of shared space. Collaborative packing may be done discontinuously with individual team members logging in at different times and either adding to or removing previously packed items. The Launch button will not be available until all team members signal "Ready to Launch." Once the launch button is active, team members may click launch and view the fate of their mission.

Tech Equipment Needed

Touching Triton may be run on desktop, laptop or tablet computers. Touching Triton is accessible with a variety of standard internet browsers, but Chrome is the recommended. Regardless of browser used, updates should be installed for best viewing of the Touching Triton application. In a classroom setting, headphones are encouraged. Much of the storyline of the activity is delivered in a series of video interviews with Chiron Avionics personnel and content experts. Although not required, headphones diminish the confusion created by multiple audio tracks playing at the same time.