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The Aegean Archipelago, an active evolutionary biology lab

(for schools and families)


The educational package “The Aegean Archipelago: a living laboratory of evolutionary biology” was funded by the European Society of Evolutionary Biology and includes three games:

  1. the board game entitled “Giants and Dwarfs“,
  2. the card game entitled “Aegean’s Settlers” and
  3. the online game entitled “Aerial Collisions“.

The games were designed by scientists from the Natural History Museum of Crete, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, the Carnegie Institute for Science in Stanford, and the Technical University of Munich.
We wish to thank the team of the Wildlife Hazzards of Fraport Greece, for their help on making the introductory video on bird strikes in airports.

The goals of the games are:

  • to explain to the children that the land masses as we know them today, have not always been like this, and that life forms on Earth change over time,
  • to make children realize that our planet was formed approximately 4,5 Billion years ago and will continue existing for a long time to come, but life on it changes: species disappear, and other species emerge by taking their place. In general evolution happens in a perpetual cycle of speciation and extinction events.
  • especially with the online game, to make children familiar with the concepts of DNA and the genetic code, based on which the characteristics of each organism are formed. The more similar the DNA of organisms is, the more related these organisms are.

Before playing the games, please carefully read the guidelines for the educator or parent and the glossary with the theory on the concepts of the games.

For each game, you may download the following relevant material:

1. The board game “Giants and Dwarfs”

For A2 size

For Α3 size


2. The card game “Aegean’s Settlers”

The cards and their cover page, that functions as legend for the maps and the info covered in the cards


3. The online game “Aerial Collisions”

Before playing the online game you should:

a) watch the video “Bird strike: Resolving the problem with the cooperation of molecular biology, bioinformatics and ecology” (in Greek with English subtitles) (, where the problem is analyzed and an introduction to how the sciences of Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Ecology can help solve real life problems is made.

b) watch the introductory video (, to understand some basic theoretical concepts and how to play the game.

To play the web game, follow the suggested steps in the web page


Have fun!!