The Brief

As part of the Tate's exhibition program for 2010-2011, a major exhibition at Tate Liverpool on "Alice in Wonderland" has been curated, showing a diverse collection of works inspired by Lewis Carroll's books. Tate Kids approached us to collaborate in an online engagement strategy, working with the Wellcome Trust as a funding partner. We quickly realised this was a great opportunity to combine art and science to engage young audiences through imagery, gameplay and video.

The Solution

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland has been the inspiration for countless artists across all media. So what keeps the Alice books alive after all these years? Looking at the current state of child psychology and neuroscience shows that the Alice books create characters and situations that brilliantly dramatise and play with essence of many of the changes that go on in the life of a child.

Wondermind is a unique suite of online games and interactive films for children aged 8-12, designed to illustrate the neuroscience of the growing brain in child development in simple, fun ways. The games aim to encourage an understanding of core aspects of neuroscience, including neural plasticity, spatial cognition, memory and language.

Quests include searching for the Cheshire Cat in an increasingly complex maze using reflected light; catching the White Rabbit whilst trying to keep untrodden paths from growing over; and making sure the Mad Hatter serves the right type of tea to his eccentric guests. The games use familiar and engaging mechanics to convey basic neuroscience concepts to a non-scientific audience.

All the themes were developed in close collaboration with scientists currently working in the field, led by Dr. Michelle de Hann, Reader in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Child Health.

Wondermind also includes a series of interactive videos created by award winning director Martin Percy that allow players to have conversations with scientists currently working in the field. An associated blog provides a wealth of additional information and artworks for children to discover.

Wondermind is a fun, engaging and illuminating experience which fuses art, literature and science for a young and inquisitive audience.

View the full set on Flickr

The Results

Designed with portablity and 'portal-appeal' the games suite is being distributed using our online publishing strategy. Due to the innovative nature of the project, merging games with video and educational content, Wondermind has been nominated for several design awards since launch.

Back to Our work