Nicola Kiernan, doctoral student, secures 'Happy Atoms' donation

18 Sep 2018
Image of Nicola with Happy Atoms

My research (supervised by Andrew Manches and Michael Seery) is investigating the ways in which STEM students learn abstract scientific concepts requiring visuospatial imagistic reasoning and how this can be supported by digital technology.  

'Happy Atoms' is an innovative, tangible digital teaching tool for chemistry students which allows learners to build molecular models, scan and manipulate 2D images on a tablet screen to help visualise molecular geometry.  I wrote to Schell Games in the US, requesting sponsorship for my research project as they are one of the few developers of digital learning tools for schools which addresses the need to scaffold students’ 2D-3D visualisation. 

Schell Games and partner Thames and Kosmos have generously donated $3000 worth of Happy Atoms resources.  This donation will allow me to use ‘Happy Atoms’ as a research tool to gather data on usability and inform requirements for future digital teaching tools.

- Nicola Kiernan