“Zombie College: The 5 Rules of Lab Safety” was voted Best of Show in the Non-Vendor Category at SolutionFest 2014 in Orlando, Florida on March 20, 2014. This annual showcase of eLearning solutions developed by organizations from across the world has a “people’s choice” competition in which submissions are voted on by industry peers. This educational film, produced by NC Community Colleges’ BioNetwork in partnership with AB Tech, Gaston College, and Asheville High School, features a serene community college campus in NC with a dark secret. A government research project has gone terrible wrong, resulting in a zombie apocalypse.
The goal of Zombie College is to get students thinking about and discussing the important topic of lab safety. “Whether you’re a chemist, researcher, or a student in a first-year biology course, the laboratory is a potentially fatal workplace,” said Vernon Shoaf, Executive Producer. “Lab safety is more than just memorizing a list of DO’s and DON’Ts. The goal of this project is to encourage a safety state of mind.”
The zombie genre has never been more popular with young adults as evidenced by recent hits such as “World War Z,” “Warm Bodies,” and “The Walking Dead.” BioNetwork is using the success of this genre to connect with students and convey important safety principles.
“Almost every high school and college science course begins the semester with a lecture about safety,” said Dan McClellan, Producer. “It’s easy for students to tune out, but Zombie College is a way for teachers to capture their attention and start a discussion.”
In addition to the film, BioNetwork has released a Zombie College mini-game that follows the film’s plot and reinforces the 5 rules of lab safety. “We’re addressing multiple learning styles,” said Shoaf. “The film uses storytelling while the mini-game uses an interactive scenario-based approach.”
The Zombie College film and mini-game are available at: facebook.com/ZombieCollege.