Teaching Methods and Materials

Tell us about your course to find methods relevant to you.


Student Skills Developed Any
Instructor Effort Required Any
Research Validation
Resources Needed
Exclude methods requiring the following:

57 Research-Based Methods

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Silver Validated Detailed Implementation Guide available

Small group discussion of conceptual questions interspersed with lectures, increasing engagement and providing formative feedback on student thinking.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +7
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Eric Mazur, Catherine H. Crouch, and colleagues
Silver Validated

Open-ended game-like simulations that include expert visual models, enabling scientist-like exploration and real-world connections.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +6
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado - Boulder
Bronze Validated

Students use electronic devices to answer questions and instructors collect and display responses, facilitating student engagement and collaboration.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +7
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers:
Research-Based

Exercises in which students rank variations of a physical situation on the basis of a specified physical quantity and explain their reasoning.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Thomas O'Kuma, David P. Maloney, Curtis Hieggelke
Bronze Validated

Worksheets for use in lecture. Students predict results of demos, discuss in small groups, observe results, compare with predictions and explain.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Studio
Developers: David Sokoloff and Ron Thornton
Bronze Validated

Students work in groups using structured problem-solving strategy to solve complex, context-rich problems too difficult to solve individually.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +6
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Studio
Developers: University of Minnesota Physics Education Research Group
Bronze Validated

Small, flexible, educational physics applets that use simple graphics to convey only salient features of physical phenomena; modifiable and adaptable.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Wolfgang Christian
Bronze Validated

Students answer questions online before class, promoting preparation for class and encouraging them to come to class with a "need to know."

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +7
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: G. Novak, A. Gavrin, E. Patterson, W. Christian
Bronze Validated

Students work in small groups on short, realistic scenarios, giving them a plausible motivation to solve problems.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Studio
Developers: University of Minnesota Physics Education Research Group
Research-Based

Open source code libraries, tools, and compiled simulations. Collection includes curriculum resources for physics, computation, and computer modeling.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +5
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Wolfgang Christian, Douglas Brown, Fransisco Esquembre
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets for use in small groups, typically in a recitation section. Instructors engage students in Socratic dialogue.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +5
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Studio
Developers: many people
Gold Star Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets for small groups in recitation section of intro calculus-based physics. Instructors engage groups in Socratic dialogue.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer and the Physics Education Group at UW
Bronze Validated

A series of introductory laboratory modules that use computer data acquisition tools to help students develop physics concepts and acquire lab skills.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lab  Homework  Studio
Developers: David Sokoloff, Ron Thornton, and Priscilla Laws
Bronze Validated

A calculus-based introductory physics curriculum designed to completely replace traditional lectures and laboratories with sequenced activities.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio
Developers: Priscilla Laws with contributions from Robert Boyle, Patrick Cooney, Kenneth Laws, John Luetzelschwab, David Sokoloff and Ronald Thornton
Research-Based

Short activities that help students apply concepts and address known difficulties; designed so that they cannot be solved using plug and chug.

Subject
Electricity / Magnetism
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Curtis Hieggelke, David Maloney, Stephen Kanim, Thomas O'Kuma
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets for small groups in recitation section of intro calculus-based physics. Instructors engage groups in Socratic dialogue.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Studio
Developers: Michael C. Wittmann, Richard N. Steinberg, Edward F. Redish, and the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Maryland
Silver Validated

Tools to elicit students' initial ideas, lessons to engage those ideas, assessment items, and reporting structures for students and teachers.

Subject
Mechanics  Waves / Optics +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: FACET Innovations
Bronze Validated

Laboratory activities that use microcomputer-based laboratory tools to develop both conceptual understanding and quantitative laboratory skills.

Subject
Mechanics  Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lab  Studio
Developers: Ron Thornton and David Sokoloff
Silver Validated Detailed Implementation Guide available

An integrated learning environment where the space is designed to facilitate interactions between small groups working on short, interesting tasks.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +6
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Studio
Developers: Robert Beichner
Silver Validated

Instruction organized around active student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive learning community.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +5
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Studio
Developers: David Hestenes and Malcolm Wells
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry, introductory mechanics labs designed to promote students' mental construction of concepts.

Subject
Mechanics
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio
Developers: Richard Hake
Silver Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets for small groups in recitation section of intro algebra-based physics. Instructors engage groups in Socratic dialogue.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: Rachel E. Scherr and Andrew Elby
Bronze Validated

Lab-based guided-inquiry curriculum for future and current teachers to develop deep understanding of physics content and scientific reasoning skills.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session +2
Developers: Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer and the Physics Education Group at UW
Gold Star Validated

A guided-inquiry conceptual physics course designed to help students develop a deep conceptual understanding of big ideas in physics.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio
Developers: Fred Goldberg, Valerie Otero and Steve Robinson
Research-Based

A guided-inquiry conceptual physical science course designed to help students develop a deep conceptual understanding of big ideas.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio
Developers: Fred Goldberg, Rebecca Kruse, Steve Robinson, Valerie Otero and Nephi Thompson
Bronze Validated

A guided-inquiry, conceptual physical science course intended for teaching in a lecture-style environment, e.g. classes with large enrollment.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)
Developers: Fred Goldberg, Stephen Robinson, Edward Price, Rebecca Kruse, Danielle Boyd Harlow and Michael McKean
Bronze Validated

Engage students in lecture classes by asking cognitively engaging multiple-choice questions to challenge their thinking and foster deep discussion.

Subject
Astronomy
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Studio
Developers: Center for Astronomy Education
Bronze Validated

Socratic-dialogue driven, highly-structured collaborative learning activities for use in introductory Astronomy lecture courses.

Subject
Astronomy
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Ed Prather, Tim Slater, Jeff Adams, and Gina Brissenden
Bronze Validated

Conceptual exercises in which students make comparative judgments to identify the order of various situations based on a physical outcome or result.

Subject
Astronomy
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: David Hudgins, Kevin Lee, and Edward Prather
Gold Star Validated

Comprehensive learning system for introductory physics that engages students in experiences that mirror experiences of practicing scientists.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Eugenia Etkina, Alan Van Heuvelen
Bronze Validated

A program to recruit science majors to become K-12 teachers and to improve undergraduate education by implementing large-scale teaching reform.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +7
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Valerie Otero and Dick McCray
Research-Based

Questions for homework, clickers, and exams that help students connect mathematical and conceptual reasoning and relate physics to the real world.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: E. F. Redish and the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group
Bronze Validated

Sequences of multiple-choice questions that emphasize qualitative reasoning and multiple representations. For interactive discussion in lecture.

Subject
Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics  Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: David E. Meltzer and Kandiah Manivannan
Bronze Validated

Activity-based curriculum for high school physics. Helps students to explore, hone, and link concepts, and to develop analysis and reasoning skills.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: William J. Gerace, Jose P. Mestre, Robert J. Dufresne, and William J. Leonard
Bronze Validated

A guided-inquiry, physical science curriculum for pre- and in-service K-5 teachers, with flexible modular units for lab- or lecture-based courses.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Studio
Developers: Fred Goldberg, Steve Robinson, Ed Price, Danielle Harlow, Julie Andrew, and Michael McKean
Bronze Validated

A physics/physical science curriculum that builds on intrinsic mathematical reasoning to develop and strengthen mathematics and physics concepts.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session +2
Developers: Eugenia Etkina, Suzanne Brahmia, Chis D'Amato, James Finley, Jim Flakker, Danielle Bugge, Richard Therkorn
Research-Based

Resources for teaching introductory quantum mechanics and modern physics with an emphasis on concepts and applications.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Michael Wittman, Richard Steinberg, and Edward Redish
Research-Based

A pedagogy using clickers for interactive, student-centered science instruction that engages students in extended whole-class discussion.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +6
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Ian D. Beatty & William J. Gerace
Silver Validated

Curriculum for large-lecture modern physics class for engineering majors. Focus on reasoning development, model building, and real-world applications.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: Carl Wieman, Kathy Perkins, Sam McKagan
Bronze Validated

A modern calculus-based introductory curriculum with an emphasis on the application of fundamental principles and on the atomic nature of matter.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Studio
Developers: Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood
Bronze Validated

A curriculum and pedagogy that integrates lab and lecture into a learning environment where students build, test, deploy, and revise conceptual models. The content focuses on a few basic models to help students see physics as a coherent whole rather than a disconnected set of facts and equations.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Studio
Developers: Dwain Desbian, Eric Brewe, Vashti Sawtelle, Daryl McPadden, Jason Dowd, Renee-Michelle Goertzen, Idaykis Rodriguez, Geoff Potvin, Seth Manthey, Jared Durden, Adrienne Traxler, Remy Dou, Eric Williams, Laird Kramer, David Jones Natan Samuels, Camila Monsalve, Daniela Gil, and John Pendas
Bronze Validated

Activities for upper-level physics that can be incorporated into a standard course or used as part of a restructuring of the undergraduate curriculum.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +4
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: Oregon State University Physics Department
Bronze Validated

A collection of multiple-choice and short answer questions for discussion and reflection in an upper-level undergraduate quantum mechanics course.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Chandralekha Singh and PER team at the University of Pittsburgh
Bronze Validated

A suite of computer simulations for teaching physics and physical science through exploring phenomena and conducting simulated experiments.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +2
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +4
Developers: Fred Goldberg and many others
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets for upper-level quantum mechanics. Connect quantitative formalism to qualitative understanding and build physical intuition.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Chandralekha Singh and PER team at the University of Pittsburgh
Bronze Validated

A sequence of introductory, activity-based, laboratory activities that integrate the use of guided-inquiry techniques with self-directed projects.

Subject
Mechanics  Waves / Optics  Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Studio
Developers: David P. Jackson, Priscilla W. Laws, and Scott V. Franklin
Bronze Validated

A practice of attending and responding to the substance of students' thinking. The instructor's next moves are based on students' emerging ideas.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +7
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session +2
Developers: Fred Goldberg, Sharon Bendall, Mike McKean, and Jennifer Radoff
Bronze Validated

A high school physics curriculum and professional development program that uses a learning cycle pedagogy, inexpensive materials, and technology.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +3
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +3
Developers: Lawrence Escalada, Roy Unruh, Timothy Cooney, and master high school physics teachers
Bronze Validated

Tutorials for a course introducing non-science majors to basic ideas of quantum mechanics, including spectroscopy, simple molecules, and tunneling.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Jeffrey T. Morgan, Michael C. Wittmann, Eleanor C. Sayre, Katrina E. Black
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheet activities to help students develop a better understanding of upper-division thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

Subject
Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session
Developers: John Thompson, Michael Loverude, David Meltzer, Warren Christensen, Don Mountcastle
Bronze Validated

Small-group learning materials for teaching intermediate mechanics. A mix of conceptual, mathematical, and problem-solving activities.

Subject
Mechanics
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session +2
Developers: Michael C. Wittmann and Bradley S. Ambrose
Bronze Validated

Supplementary activities for upper-level E&M. All materials are modular and can be mixed and matched with any other teaching strategy or materials.

Subject
Electricity / Magnetism
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Steven Pollock, Stephanie Chasteen, and many others in the CU PER group and the CU Physics department
Research-Based

Supplementary activities for upper-level QM I. All materials are modular and can be mixed and matched with any other teaching strategy or materials.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students) +2
Developers: Steven Pollock, Stephen Goldhaber, and many others in the CU PER group and the CU Physics department
Bronze Validated

Design labs in which students work in groups to design an experiment, carry it out, analyze it, and present their results to other groups.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Calculus-based  Intro College Algebra-based  Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lab
Developers: Rebecca Lippmann Kung, Paul Gresser, and Joe Redish
Bronze Validated

Guided-inquiry worksheets to support students in thinking about the nature of quantum entities and engage in interpretation of quantum phenomena.

Subject
Modern / Quantum
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session +2
Developers: Benjamin W. Dreyfus, Jessica R. Hoehn, Erin Ronayne Sohr, Noah D. Finkelstein, Ayush Gupta, Andrew Elby, Kathleen Hinko
Research-Based

A professional development program for K-12 teachers on the learning of energy. Teachers construct an understanding about energy and about learning.

Subject
Mechanics  Thermal / Statistical
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)
Developers: Hunter Close, Eleanor Close, Lezlie DeWater, Stamatis Vokos, Lane Seeley, Rachel Scherr, and Sam McKagan
Bronze Validated

A curriculum for pre-service teachers. Students craft and investigate their own scientific questions about a range of scientific topics.

Subject
Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism +4
Level
 
MSHSICIMULGS   O
 Intro College Conceptual
Setting
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio
Developers: Leslie Atkins