Source code: evolutionaryLadybugSplitscreenB

Built with Processing

The Ladybug Game is an educational tool originally developed by Dr. Terry Soule as an easy to use way of watching evolution "in action" and as a possible platform for an evolutionary game. The project received further attention and funding from the Beacon Center, and I was hired on to transform it into a useful, engaging educational program. With the help of Melissa Kjelvik (MSU), we hope to disseminate this program to K-6 classrooms in order to give younger students a better understanding of how evolution works.

The application is broken into 5 lessons, each designed to help strengthen a student's understanding of evolutionary processes. There are several pictographcal representations of particular information shown below the "leaves" where the ladybugs and aphids are. For each lesson, you can see the current background color, the average color composition of the aphid population on that background, and the evolutionary parameters that are currently active. You can also see what the average chance the ladybug has to "see" an aphid in the population (the lower this number is, the less likely an aphid is to get eaten). Additionally, there is a color-wheel below the leaves which you can use to change the base background color. A short description of the lessons is below.

Particular attention was paid to making this program easy to understand and interact with. While in the main it is a teaching tool, we also hope that it is simply fun to watch the ladybug zoom around the screen, watch the aphids adapt, and when they start to get too good at hiding, change the background! With this in mind, we welcome any suggestions you might have to improve the user experience.