How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

This interactive animation about the biology of skin color provides stop points at which students can further explore the material through additional text and illustrations, videos, questions, and simple interactive widgets.

Narrated by the world’s leading authority on the evolution of human skin color, Dr. Nina Jablonski, this animation describes how and where melanin is produced in our cells and what factors affect our skin color.

A3MG provided interface design, graphic design, and the programming of this custom interactive video app.

Client: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

View the Interactive Animation

Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab

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The Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab was developed by a team of scientists, educators, graphic artists, and film makers to explore the evolution of the anole lizards in the Caribbean.  A3MG provided interface design and graphics as well as the programming of BioInteractive’s latest virtual lab.

The virtual lab includes four modules that investigate different concepts in evolutionary biology, including adaptation, convergent evolution, phylogenetic analysis, reproductive isolation, and speciation. Each module involves data collection, calculations, analysis and answering questions.

Exploring Transitional Fossils


A3MG designed and programmed this Web app for HHMI’s BioInteractive.  Users press fossils of transitional creatures in the rock layers to reveal their characteristics and learn how each characteristic evolved.

The fossils of transitional creatures were key evidence for Darwin’s evolutionary theory, but none had been found when he published On the Origin of Species. Now, there are many examples of such fossils, which clearly show that big evolutionary leaps consist of many smaller steps.

Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

A3MG worked with a team of scientists, science writers, and teachers to produce this virtual lab for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.  A3MG created the 3-D illustrations, interactive sequences, and overall graphics.  The lab was programmed using web standards allowing it to run on most modern browsers and mobile devices including the iPad.

The Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab will introduce you to the science and techniques used to analyze the forms and structures of organisms—in particular, the pelvic structures of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The lab includes three experiments in which you will collect and analyze data using photographs of living fish specimens and fossils.

Awards: 2013 Communicator Awards; Silver Award of Distinction

HHMI Holiday Lectures Video On Demand

The annual Holiday Lectures on Science, given for pre-college students, have been webcast live by A3MG since 1998. A3MG developed this video on demand (VOD) player which features HD resolution in full screen mode, closed captions, and chapter links so viewers can jump to a specific topic within the videos.

Videos that have Closed Captions available also have a search field above the chapter list. Entering a word or phrase in this field will search caption text and chapter names for the current video. Clicking the results below the chapter title will position the player 5 seconds before your search term is mentioned in the video.

Watch the Lectures

HHMI Virtual Lab Series

Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab

In 2002 The Virtual Lab Series won the top prize Pirelli INTERNETional Award in the category of Multimedia Education coming from any school, college, and university or research center.

The Transgenic Fly Lab was a finalist at the 2003 Macromedia MAX Awards in the category of E-learning Experiences. This category was for applications created by organizations to teach employees, customers, partners, or students.

More recently, the Transgenic Fly Lab won a MERLOT award in 2010.

A3MG has played an integral role in the development of HHMI’s Virtual Labs project.

Bill Pietsch, A3MG’s President and Creative Director, has been involved with the Virtual Labs project since its beginning in 1996 with the Virtual Immunology Lab. Bill provides art direction, 3-D modeling, and interface design to the ongoing Virtual Labs project.

Davey Thomas, A3MG’s Vice-President and Media Programmer, became involved with the Virtual Labs project in 1997 with his work on the Virtual Neurophysiology Lab. Davey provides programming and animation on the project.

The sixth Virtual Lab, Stickleback Evolution was released in 2012.

HHMI’s Virtual Lab Series Web Site
Learn More About the Virtual Fly Lab Project (5:00)

Pirelli INTERNETional Award
2003 Macromedia MAX Awards
MERLOT Awards: Exemplary Learning Materials