The field of micro- and nanosystems in life sciences is inherently highly interdisciplinary. In both academic research and industrial R&D the people involved need to be able to communicate and work with a large number of collaborators from different fields and backgrounds, know about the possible applications in the pharmaceutical industries, medicine and patient care and take responsibility of the societal implication of their work. Successful products and research findings can only be achieved when this transdisciplinary collaboration is learned and taught on-the-job and at all levels of education.
wet PONG introduces a creativity approach to project based learning (PBL) in microfluidics using a game concept, inspired by computer games, and the use of open-source software and hardware. It has started during a semester course, WS08/09, for the bachelor in life science technologies at the University of Applied Science Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
Project based learning is an approach for classroom activity that emphasizes learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centered. It can best be defined as instruction relating questions and technology relative to the students everyday lives to classroom projects. Students form their own investigation of their own group which allows students to develop valuable research skills. The students engage in design, problem solving, decision making, and investigative activities. It allows students to work in groups or by themselves and allows them to come up with ideas and realistic solutions or presentations.
wetPONG is an international student competition based on a creativity approach in project based learning in microfluidics. The goal of the project is to design and build a prototype system of a playful game-concept that combines components of micro- and nanotechnology and living organisms. Interdisciplinary thinking, team collaboration and creativity are the main learning objectives. The entered projects will be presented at an international meeting and awarded by a jury of invited experts.