Using SIMLIFE for intro biology?

Paul Augustine Cardullo paul at enterprise.niehs.nih.gov
Tue Feb 1 19:03:19 EST 1994

While I have not used SIMLIFE in a classroom setting myself, I have spent quite
a bit of time playing with it in my spare time.  It is complex enough that it
could easily be adapted for use in a classroom setting.  The program provides
quite a large amount of data on your SimOrganisms.  In fact, if you have plenty
of disk space, it has a very nice log feature that keeps track of a large number
of variables.  Though the population size is rather small (the default limit is
200 total animals and a slightly larger number of plants), the program does a rather nice job of presenting the data.  In fact, you can even get a look at the
gene pool.  You can even tinker with the genetic makeup of individuals. (Each
animal has about 20 genes that you can control.)
All in all, you should be able to whip up a rather nice lesson plan using SimLife.  Plus, your students will probably even get a kick out of it.
To put in one more gratuitous plug:  I hear that another product by Maxis, SimEarth, has also been used in schools, to teach everything from geology to ecology.
Oh, the standard disclaimer stuff applies - I have no ties to Maxis, etc. yadda, yadda, yadda

				Paul A. Cardullo
				Information Systems and Networks
				2327 Englert Dr, Suite 200
				RTP, NC  27709

				Tel (919)544-6484
				e-mail paul at enterprise.niehs.nih.gov

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