CRISPR Detective

Interactive museum exhibit experience about CRISPR

CRISPR Detective is an interactive museum experience built in collaboration with Dr. Sanjana and the researchers at the New York Genome Center. The experience aims to educate guests on what CRISPR is, how it works, how it helps genetic researcher such as Dr. Sanjana, and how it could be misused. Framing the content in an interactive and playful fashion makes it easier to learn the complexity behind CRISPR and provides a contrast to CRISPR's portrayal in the media—allowing guests to have better informed conversations and opinions on this new genetic engineering tool.

Another key goal of CRISPR Detective is to create an experience that is accessible for visually impaired guests. Tactile game pieces, sound cues, and Braille labels are some example components used in the project's design to achieve this accessibility goal.

show layout

The multi-step exhibit was conceptualized, designed, built, and showcased as a group project for the NYU ITP Playful Communication of Serious Research course in which student groups pair with an NYU researcher to showcase their work. I was responsible for finding and pitching Dr. Sanjana's CRISPR research to my group, suggesting a detective theme, and programming the CRISPR game, RFID scanners, and LEDs.

Process blog post

Initial group idea mapping session ideation

Paper testing initial interactive component paper testing

Cardboard testing revised interactive component cardboard testing

Demo at the American Museum of Natural History American Museum of Natural History demo

Playful Communication for Serious Research demo night demo day beginning

demo day screen

demo day players

Original project proposal presentation

Original project schematic presentation


  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
  • USB HID RFID readers and RFID stickers
  • w2812b LED strips
  • Node.js
  • Python
  • Masonite board
  • Laser cutter
  • Wood fabrication


Teammates: Cara Neel, Antonio Guimaraes, Jingyi Wen, Veronica Alfaro

Research sources: Dr. Neville Sanjana, Victoria Le, Sanjana Lab

Advisors: Brett Peterson

© 2021 Adrian Bautista, built with GatsbyJS