Texas Instruments, the company that made the graphing calculator the most ubiquitous learning tool since the book, is giving teachers everywhere an invaluable new tool for teaching science and math: zombies.
Yes, zombies. Zombies on graphing calculators, no less.
The walkers aren’t alone, either. Their ambassador is actress (and scientist IRL) Mayim Bialik. The woman we all knew as Blossom before she got a PhD in neuroscience and joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory has helped TI develop a program that teaches middle and high school students science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program uses models of zombie outbreaks loaded onto TI graphing calculators, computers, or iPads to demonstrate everything from brain damage (natch) to the patterns in which disease spreads. It’s brilliant, really. Students, inundated by walkers from World War Z to The Walking Dead, already understand the basics of zombie behavior, which provides a gruesome yet entertaining mnemonic device for understanding much more complex ideas.
“The neural anatomy that we go into is really the jumping off point in this particular activity, and the actual activity is about what would happen if a virus that was turning people into zombies were to spread,” Bialik told WIRED. “This presents the opportunity for modeling, for teaching about graphing, for teaching about disease progression, for teaching about the problem-solving that would be involved if you were to, for example, work for the Centers for Disease Control and had to analyze this.”
I did a thing with zombies and Mayim Bialik. That is all.