Project Description
School of the Future is a joint project between Philadelphia School District and Microsoft. Working directly with Educators and Learners has yielded insight into what applications work in the classroom. Here you'll find applications that were developed for the school to share.

School of the Future Background:
Partner: Vectorform

Surface Projects:

1. Cell Explorer


The Cell Explorer / Protein Synthesis Lab was a solution developed through a partnership between Microsoft, The School of the Future located in Philadelphia, and Vectorform, which is a Microsoft Partner for developing MS Surface applications. The goal of this solution was to provide educators a tool that allows students to explore animal and plant cell construction, and to simulate the synthesis of protein through the immersive, and collaborative technology that is the Microsoft Surface.


Microsoft Surface
.Net 3.5

Process Description (while running application)
  • After the user has explored the structure of the animal/plant cell, they will have the ability to expand the nucleus to begin the process of synthesizing protein. Using the standard zoom gesture, the user is presented with a visual representation of the interior of the cell, including the nucleus, a strand of DNA, and a Ribosome.
  • At this point of the process, the Nucleus receives a command to replicate a specific portion of the DNA strand. By sliding your finger through the DNA strand, you will notice the replication and creation of the mRNA. Upon completing this replication, the mRNA travels through the nucleus wall and begins to look for a ribosome to join.
  • Once a ribosome has been located, the mRNA passes through it: At the same time, there is tRNA that has been floating around in the cytoplasm or the endoplasmic reticulum of the cell. Part of their journey is to bind themselves to essential amino acids that are also located throughout the cytoplasm.
  • While the mRNA is passing through the ribosome “factory”, the tRNA works to match its codon to the anti-codon of the mRNA. This process results in two things: Energy, and the beginning stages of a polypeptide chain. Upon satisfying the sequence of the tRNA, and coupling 20 amino acids within the polypeptide chain, Protein has been synthesized.

Additional information on starting a new project is available here: Project Startup Guide.

Last edited Oct 14, 2009 at 1:43 AM by SOTF, version 5