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Spongelab | History of Biology Game

Deus creavit, Linnaeus disposuit!

What an incredible night, bringing all these brilliant minds together. I can't wait to talk to them all!

L: Micrographia was an incredible achievement - looking at all your extraordinary observations of the smallest of things was simply awe-inspiring. Who knew a fly had so many eyes and patterned so elegantly?

H: Thank you - though your series of letters to the Royal Society was nothing short of remarkable.

L: And you did it all with that microscope?

H: Not this exact one, but similar. I much preferred my own compound microscopes to your simple microscopes - you may have had clearer images, but they strained and weakened my sight.

Later in life recognition?

S: Look! I'm telling you... it's the same principle... except it's used to make proteins. A book, which has the recipe for a human being!

G: Rezept?

M: Look if you don't believe us... ask Dr. Watson.

W: Did you know this was a BYOM (bring your own microscope) event?

C: Nope, but if we had known...

W: Yeah, we could have shown them what a 'real' microscope looked like

H: I love that coat

M: I was inspired by both your early discoveries and always taught my students to 'think microscopically'
Schwann: If it wasn't for Schleiden's initial observations in plants, who knows how much longer it would have taken me to make the connection in animals?

Schleiden: I just knew that if the nucleus was the most important part of the cell in plants, it was likely to be important in animals too.

Schwann: Though we weren't entirely right, we also thought cells formed spontaneously, but I guess two out of three theories wasn't bad!

J: I'll give you 5 coins for that microscope

V: I don't even know what it's worth - that guy down there the pink robe gave it to me

J: Okay, what if I sweetened the deal - my whole coin pouch?

game content cover spongelab biology game content cover spongelab chemistry game content cover spongelab history game content cover spongelab mathematics game content cover spongelab physics



Where is Walden Shyre... and what happened to him on the eve of the Nobel Prize Ceremony?

You've been hired as the new laboratory assistant to the two-time Nobel laureate, Dr. Walden A. Shyre. He's disappeared, and he's left you clues. He has a plan!

In the History of Biology game, you, the assistant, are required to navigate through a labyrinth of clues, objects, and internet sites trying to figure out why Dr. Shyre has disappeared. What secret project was he working on? Who might be after him and are they after you too? Hidden amongst the history of biology, Dr. Shyre has left clues and puzzles to unlock the secrets of his most important and controversial research ever.


History of Biology is an interactive, online science scavenger hunt where students experience the history of biology, through the people and the impact their discoveries had on, and continues to have on, our culture, society, politics, economics, and ethics. Starting in the 17th Century, with the invention of microscopes and the first descriptions of microscopic life, users complete weekly missions and solve puzzles by researching the lives and scientific discoveries of over 20 scientists. Users progress through a rich story-line driven game that parallels the scientific timeline of discovery. The game content takes users through the cell theory, microscopes, classification, evolution, mechanisms of heredity, the central dogma of genetics, the genomics revolution and where biological science is heading in the near future.


Content Overview


Download Overview Document (PDF)

Key Concepts

  • Cell theory, discovery of microorganisms
  • Function, structure and use of microscopes
  • Classification and taxonomy
  • Classic and modern genetic tools
  • The central dogma of genetics and the universal code
  • Heredity & DNA
  • Genomics

Issues Focused

  • Ethical, social, political and cultural impacts of biological innovations are central to the narrative of this journey.

Historical Importance

  • Discoveries by 14 scientists and significant technological advancements

Problem-based Learning Approach

  • The game sends students on a journey of discovery through a series of exploratory missions where students use scientific techniques and a staged webquest to solve detailed puzzles.
  • Problem solving, critical thinking, research and communication skills are challenged and assessed through each mission.


Teacher Guides

  • Full text walk-through of each mission
  • Online video walkthrough
  • Suggested prompts to facilitate student discovery, including screen shots to integrate into lessons/presentations.
  • These support features available for teacher subscribers!


System Requirements - Game Questions & Support


  • PC Pentium 4, 1.5 GHz or greater
  • RAM 512 MB or greater
  • Windows XP or Windows Vista
  • Internet Browser (Internet Explorer 7.x, Firefox 3.x, Opera 7.11+)
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 Internet Browser Plugin
  • * High-speed internet connection

Need the latest FLASH Player? It can be downloaded for free by clicking on the button below.


  • Mac Intel processor 1.2 GHz or higher
  • RAM 1 GB or higher
  • OSX 10.3.9 or higher
  • Internet Browser (Safari 1.5+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Opera)
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 Internet Browser Plugin
  • * High-speed internet connection

Need the latest FLASH Player? It can be downloaded for free by clicking on the button below.


Click the link below to send us a message through the web form
Spongelab Main Contact Form

For Old Spongelab Biology, History of Biology and Genomics Digital Lab Users

History of Biology and Genomics Digital Lab have been moved to the current Spongelab Biology platform. Both games are free to play, and there are a number of options available to older Spongelab Biology users:

  • Your old login information should allow you to log in to the current Spongelab Biology platform.
  • If you wish to register a new account on the current Spongelab Biology platform, you can do so here.
  • The old Spongelab Biology platform has been discontinued, but administrative reports can still be accessed here.

Register for a current Spongelab platform account


Global Stats

Users 127,763

Rank Username Points
1 N.F 586
2 N.H 426
3 N.H 313
4 j.f 277
5 C.A 269
6 D.M 215
7 A.P 207
8 c.c 147
9 R.S 145
10 M.L 143

History of Biology Forum