Map-Ed is an interactive learning website featuring short quizzes focused on a variety of genetics-related topics. After completing each quiz, students can “pin” their location on a world map and – over time – watch participants (and knowledge) spread across the world! Part of the Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd), Map-Ed has the goal of raising public awareness and knowledge about personal genetics using means that everyone can access, regardless of culture, education, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic background. pgEd’s programs aim to build confidence so people will ask questions, make informed decisions, and respect others’ views.
A variety of 5-question quizzes are available to the user at the Map-Ed website.
Current quiz topics include:
When you enter Map-Ed, the “Genetics Gets Personal” quiz opens automatically on your screen and you can either choose to complete this quiz, or you can select from the list of other quizzes. Correct answers are rewarded with a brief explanation; incorrect answers get a “Consider the following and try again” response, which guides participants to the correct answer before moving to the next question.
After completing each quiz, participants can enter their address (or zip code) and “pin themselves to the map” to join previous quiz takers. The Google-type map initially displays the pins of respondents living nearby. However, a familiar +/– slider expands the map to show participant totals in entire regions, even in countries around the world – revealing, for example, a single quiz taker at the far southern tip of Argentina, or one in the Rift Valley of Kenya.
Participants can share this activity with friends via Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest – and watch the number of pins grow as a direct result of their social networking. Tracking the spread of genetic knowledge may not be the primary goal of this activity, but knowing that you contributed to its spread is definitely one of the rewards!
Beyond interactively spreading knowledge about personal genetics, Map-Ed carries a message about the worldwide impact of genetics: the recognition that “we’re all in this together” and – as pins show knowledge spreading across the world via social networking – that each one of us can make a difference.
About the Creators:
The Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd.org), based in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, raises public awareness and educates people about personal genetics. In addition to Map-Ed, pgEd develops activity-based lesson plans on the cutting-edge scientific and social issues in personal genetics and holds professional development workshops for high school teachers. pgEd’s website also features a blog that highlights the latest news in personal genetics, a video series, and more.