Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Professor of Pharmacology and Director, Duke Center for Science Education, and RISE (Raising Interest in Science Education) directed undergraduate students in Pharmacology 197/198 to develop an immersive 3D virtual interactive model to teach chemical oxidation using a context that is relevant to students—alcohol metabolism. The model, developed for the Duke immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE), shows how alcohol is oxidized by 2 forms of a liver enzyme. During the program, you dive into the digestive system, and in the liver, you drive enzymes to metabolize alcohol. The program is also available on the web, so you can try it out yourself! Click on the image, below, to see video excerpts of the program in the DiVE. In a small pilot assessment with high school students, Dr. Schwartz Bloom found that the experience with the program led to a significant increase in understanding chemical oxidation.
This project was funded in part by a Visualization grant from the Center for Instructional Technology and from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of NIH.