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.
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.
Initial group idea mapping session
Paper testing initial interactive component
Cardboard testing revised interactive component
Demo at the American Museum of Natural History
Playful Communication for Serious Research demo night
Original project proposal presentation
Original project schematic presentation
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
- USB HID RFID readers and RFID stickers
- w2812b LED strips
- 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