Educators, students and everyone,  the Build A Tree game and the interactive DeepTree have been launched in the online PBS/WGBH NOVA Labs! Go ahead, try them out, play the games and explore the vast tree of life!


Harvard University in partnership with the University of Nebraska State Museum, Northwestern University, and University of Michigan developed Life on Earth. The project team includes computer scientists, biologists, and learning researchers. Biologists from several of our partner institutions advise this project. Our partner museums include the California Academy of Sciences, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the University of Nebraska State Museum. Life on Earth is a National Science Foundation-funded (NSF DRL AISL #1010889, $2.3M, 2010 – 2015) multi-institutional project to (1) advance public understanding of biodiversity and the history of life on Earth, and (2) advance our knowledge of how people interact and learn from large interactive science data visualizations on multi-touch tabletop displays in public settings. The project team has developed a series of learning activities that can now be experienced in multiple museums. The focal exhibit, utilizing large data sets from four online databases including Tree of Life web project, Encyclopedia of Life, National Center for Biotechnology Information and Time Tree, allows visitors to explore the relationships of thousands of species over 3.5 billion years of life on Earth.
News & Press
  • Best of CHI 2015 Best Paper Award: Proposed a novel Group Identification Algorithm in a dynamic visitor flow and engagement metrics for statistical analysis in interactive informal learning environments. Demonstrated effects of two typical study methodologies (pdf).
  • Coming soon! We are working on a digital Evolution Lab with the WGBH/NOVA Labs team.
  • PBS NOVA Engaging Science blog
  • Live Showcase of BATand paper presentation at Games, Learning and Society 2014 (watch video...)
  • Seeing Science: Biomedical Computation Review writes about the DeepTree. (read more...)
  • Harvard Gazette:: The watchword is innovation (read more...)
  • SEAS News Release: Museum exhibit developed at SEAS puts evolution at visitors’ fingertips (read more...)