BrainCASE: The Golden Hour


Status: Completed (January 2011– December 2012)



BrainCASE: The Golden Hour is a computer game in which the player takes on the role of a medical student to help diagnose and treat a patient who has sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The game is comprised of three scenes: (Scene 1) assessing the patient’s initial condition on an Emergency Medical Services helicopter, (Scene 2) using a CT scan to examine and diagnose the injury, and (Scene 3) performing neurosurgery to treat the patient. Throughout each scene, students gather data and learn neuroscience-related concepts in order to perform necessary tasks such as treating and assessing the patient with in-game medical tools and devices.

The Golden Hour can be played as a stand-alone activity, integrated within a mini-curriculum that concentrates primarily on the game , or as part of Project NEURON’s larger, 7-lesson curriculum unit Why dread a bump on the head?. Supported by curriculum, The Golden Hour introduces students to the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning framework for scientific argumentation, a key scientific practice identified within the Next Generation Science Standards.

Outcomes and Opportunities

The free The Golden Hour computer game and associated curriculum materials are available online through the Project NEURON website (see link above). Research publications related to the game and curriculum will be posted when available; keep in touch with Impact on Science Education for announcements.

Partners and Funding

BrainCASE was an extension of Project NEURON made possible by an extension grant through the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (NIH-SEPA).