The Connected Chemistry Curriculum

From 2010–2012, with a small team I constructed a high-tech high-school chemistry curriculum, using a mixed methods approach: innovative digital simulations alongside print workbooks.

The Principal Investigator and project manager for this project was Mike Stieff, PhD. Along with Dr. Stieff, Stephanie Ryan and Jason Yip were heavily involved in primary education research, creating models and designing the curriculum, working with teachers and students, and performing usability testing. My role was initially to develop the digital simulations, eventually transitioning to design and illustration, where I worked closely with Theresa Nighelli (our primary writer) and Chris Li (the primary programmer) for this development project.

Download example curriculum book (#1)

I designed and implemented the initial interface and basic functionality for the software, including early simulations and integration with a physics engine (Java Box2D). I implemented the overall system using Processing and Java (Swing). Eventually system complexity required additional computer scientists for the heavy lifting, but by this point all major aspects of the software were operational (although not necessarily feature rich).

I designed and edited 18 books, averaging 75 pages each. These books underwent dozens of revisions, including at least one entire rewrite each, over the course of two years.

I created systems of graphics and illustrations for use in the software and books, including hundreds of compound molecules, nuclear representations, and several hundred quantitative illustrations.

  • started: 2010-09
  • completed: 2012-08
Client University of Illinois at Chicago: Learning Sciences Research Institute
Role developer, designer, illustrator