Welcome to Biome4Kids!Biome4Kids is a virtual world just for kids and teachers housed in a server located at Northern Michigan University and maintained by me, another biologist and tech wizard Stephen Gasior (Stephen Xootfly in virtual worlds) and the university. Biome4Kids has a lot of different places to explore and things to learn. Biome4Kids is just that - a world just for kids whether on their own or with their school classes. There are many good ways to learn using virtual worlds and we have all sorts of ways to learn here in our world. Besides that, it's just fun.
Schools may use Biome4Kids for science, engineering and technology learning as well as socializing with kids from different geographic areas. But any kids can apply and access it from home for learning or fun.
Some of the things we have right now are islands dedicated to various exciting environments:
There are square plots of virtual land 256 X 256 meters called "islands". Below I will describe these islands.
Biome4Kids is the welcome island is the island where you first land and where you make your avatar after making an account (see the How to Get Started page). Once you have an avatar, know a little about navigating, and have been invited to the Critters, Kids and Teachers group, you can teleport (how cool is that!) to the Biome4Kids Mainland.
Biome is the home island for the Biome4Kids Mainland. It has places just to hang out, gather, meet in a bigger group and it also has more avatars. I have an office there as well as on the Biome4Kids welcome island.
We have four educational islands all built around the idea of Earth Systems Science. This idea stresses that you can learn about the Earth best when you look at different aspects or "spheres" that all interact.
- Biosphere is a place where you can learn about the forests of the earth. You can visit the treehouse. It makes a great classroom too.
- Geosphere is an island with a volcano and other fun geology-based areas and activities.You can even have class inside the volcano (you have to fly up and fly down inside).
- Atmosphere is where you can learn about the weather. Check out the huge weather map you can walk on. Put in a pin for your place. There's a flying saucer classroom there. You'll have to use the teleporter and let the aliens "beam you up".
- Hydrosphere is where the water is represented. There is a giant microscope with common pond critters for you to study, a wetlands, a river, and a very fun coral reef where you can explore (you can't drown here) or meet in the submarine.
- Seaborgia and Imaginaria are placewhere you can learn to build and practice all your building skills. Be sure to pick up your items unless they are part of a school project. Oh, and give them a name so if they end up back in your inventory you can find them again.
We now have more islands for learning:
- Mendel has interactive Mendelian genetics activities.
- Hooke has a walk-in cell for learning about cells and organelles.
- Crick has modern genetics information and activities.
- Werowocomoco is more social studies oriented with history and archeology of the Eastern United States.