Organic Chemistry App Game: Science Does Not Have to Be Scary

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  • Published Date: 17 January 2018
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
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Neil Garg, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and former undergraduate chemistry students have created an app that teaches incoming college students the SN2 reaction through a game-play similar to that of Angry Birds. The app is named Backside Attack after the concept involved in the SN2 reaction in which a molecule approaches another from behind to trigger the reaction. The app is available for download on iOS for free.

Backside Attack leads players through several levels. In each level, they learn a slightly more complex or difficult concept. In the first level, players need to shoot a molecule with a syringe into a flask containing another molecule. The reaction has to be completed. As players move through the levels, the size of the flask’s opening becomes smaller and more difficult to aim at. Another level requires players to draw the correct molecular mechanism. In each level, a short explanation and a question can be accessed to learn more about the concept being taught.

If the app is well received, Neil Garg plans to make it accessible on other devices, as well, and he might create more apps that teach different chemical reactions.


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