ToxMystery (http://toxmystery.nlm.nih.gov) is the National Library of Medicine’s new, interactive learning site for 7-10 year old kids. It provides a fun, game-like experience while introducing potential environmental health hazards sometimes found in the home.
“Toxie” the cat helps find the hazards hidden in each room, and offers hints when needed. The objective is to find all the hazards. Ever seen a cat …dance? Players will be treated to fun animations when they complete each area. When all the hazards in the house have been discovered, Toxie delivers an animated celebration, and players can print a personalized certificate.
ToxMystery’s Parent Resources page provides more detailed information about everyday environmental hazards that can be harmful to one’s health. A For Teachers page contains more than ten downloadable activity pages that can be used in elementary school classrooms.
ToxMystery has been enthusiastically tested by real kids, who enjoyed “answering the questions and playing the game,” hearing Toxie talk “about all the hazards,” watching items in the rooms “hover around and made sounds,” and seeing “Toxie do funny things when you finish a room.”
The NLM has provided an important set of environmental health databases for toxicologists and other scientists for many years. ToxMystery joins a number of other new NLM resources geared towards the general public (http://tox.nlm.nih.gov).
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest library of the health sciences, is a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.