This project focuses on learning methods for transferring the topic of Molecular Science to schools via computer games.


Nowadays computer games are an important part of most children’s leisure time and they have become a part of our culture as a whole. Therefore various computer games for educational use (Digital Game Based Learning) were developed and research about how to transfer the fascination and the learning potential of computer games to education environments has started. But despite careful efforts to integrate the main attraction of the respective computer game into a learning game often enough the educational game is much less accepted than the original game.


Our project offers a different and new approach to use the motivational factor of computer games for teaching: Instead of producing educational games for students, we developed a design pattern to teach students/pupils how to develop their own educational game. While creating an educational game the student/pupil will internalize the learning content. For testing the Design Pattern, we developed the online portal for teachers and students. Well prepared teaching materials, online tutorials, and videos about molecular science, game design, casual games and casual learning games are presented. All content is free and students can share their ideas and concepts of their Learning Games with other students. An included lessons generator helps teachers generate full day lessons for their students. The outcome of these lessons are learning games for molecular science made by the students themselves.


In order to visit the portal "PlayMolecule" please "click here".


This project was funded by Matheon under project number ZE6. It is now continned in the framework of EXIST program of the German government, see NovaGaDe "click here" webpage.

Selected Publications

  • Gräfe, Ch. and Nordmeier, V. and Schütte, Ch. (2009) Computerspiel zum Thema Moleküldynamik für Schüler der 7.-10. Klasse, Experimentelles Prototyping zur Entwicklung eines Lernspiels. Jahrestagung 2008 der GDCP (Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Chemie und Physik), 1 . pp. 77-79.


  • Gräfe, Ch. and Schütte, Ch. and Nordmeier, V. (2009) "Learner as creator" - SchülerInnen generieren eigene Lernspiele. In: Didaktik der Physik - Bochum 2009. Lehmanns Media, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-86541-371-0


  • Gräfe, Ch. and Schütte, Ch. and Nordmeier, V. (2008) Spielend lernen - ein Online-Computerspiel zur Moleküldynamik. In: Didaktik der Physik – Berlin 2008. Lehmanns Media, Berlin.


Christof Schütte

Brigitte Lutz-Westphal

Project researchers

Christine Gräfe