Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

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The Sims 3 University Life: Science Skill

Challenges, Experiments, Samples, and Cloning

The Sims 3 University Life Expansion Pack
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Sims 3 University Life - Research Station allows you to analyze, experiment, and clone

With the Science skill in The Sims 3 University Life, Sims can perform experiments and collect samples of collectibles found in the game world. The skill gives you a two-level head start in the Science and Medical career tracks when maxed, and you'll naturally gain standing with the Nerd social group. Sims who reach a high level in the Science skill can clone collectibles from samples, and even make clones of Sims. This is also the skill that allows you easily transform your Sim into a Plantsim.

Learning Science
There are a number of ways to learn the Science skill, from the traditional methods of skill books and classes, to the new "them bones" anatomy skeleton object used by the Science and Medicine degree at the University. Sims attending University can play with the Group Science Project machine. The main way to level this skill outside the U is to buy the ZRX-9000 Science Research Station for $1050, which will give you access to most of the abilities your Sim will unlock as a Scientist. The Research Science interaction will get you started.

It's worth noting that there are also three social interactions you can use to raise the Science skill, all found under Friendly: Ink Blot Test, Stimulus Response Test, and Postulate Theory.

Sims 3 University Life - Getting a DNA Sample from a Sim

Research Station Interactions
The Research Station starts with several interactions that can allow your Sim to do a few different things before they've ever gained a skill level:

  • Research Science - A generic interaction that gives Science Skill experience.
  • Gene Splicing Experiment - Changes a seed from one kind to another. A big success here can give your Sim a Forbidden Fruit, which can be planted to get yourself a PlantSim baby. If you analyze the plant, you'll get a sample which can be cloned to produce a fruit that when eaten to turn your Sim into a PlantSim. A failure here will destroy the seed.
  • Herb Experiment - Success in this experiment will make an herb's quality go up by one level. A big success will boost it to Perfect quality. Failure will lower the quality of the herb. Success rate increases with level.
  • Horticulture Experiment - Success in this experiment will make a plant's quality go up by one level. A big success will boost it to Perfect quality. Failure will lower the quality of the plant. Success rate increases with level.
  • Radiation Experiment - Bombard an insect with radiation in hopes of transforming it. Success here lets you keep your bug, while failure will destroy it. A big success will transform it into a Plasma Bug, a rare beetle that is worth up to $4600. Get just one of these and you have an infinite source of cash once your Sim is level 9 Science and able to clone collectibles.
Sims 3 University Life - Science Group Project

Science Ability Unlocks
The following abilities are unlocked as your Sim levels Science:

  • Level 2 - Research and Sell Scientific Samples - Allows you to sell scientific samples at the Science Lab in town, which is not very useful given you must select them one at a time vs. moving stacks to the sell box through the inventory. The Research Sample interaction on the Research Station is a faster way to level your Science, though it does not count as an experiment for the skill challenge. You'll also lose the sample in the process. It's unclear just what greater purpose this serves.
  • Level 3 - Analyze Minerals (Metals/Gems) - Analyze gems and metals to get a sample. These can be sold or used at the Research Station to clone these items.
  • Level 4 - Analyze Plants - Use on unidentified seeds to get a sample telling you the plant type. Otherwise, like above, you can use this to get plant samples for cloning purposes, or to simply sell the sample. Using this raises your Sim's Gardening Skill.
  • Level 5 - Correlate Scientific Data - Visit the Science Lab with your Sim to Correlate. This gives you a random award, up to $750 for a trip. The cooldown starts at 48 hours, but you're eventually able to get it down to 12 hours, 6 with the skill challenge.
  • Level 6 - Analyze Insects - Again, used to clone.
  • Level 7 - Analyze Fish - same. Raises the Fishing skill.
  • Level 8 - Analyze DNA from Sims - to get DNA, use the Special > Science > Ask for DNA Sample interaction on another Sim. You may need to bump your relationship a bit before this will work. You can do this multiple times on a single Sim to collect many samples, although its usefulness is limited.
  • Level 9 - Clone From Sample - this wonderful ability allows your Sim to make a copy of any collectible they've sampled. If you use a seed sample, you'll get a fruit. This can let you, for instance, make many Life Fruit without actually planting them. It also lets you turn your Sim into a Plantsim when you clone a Forbidden Fruit seed sample. This is a big money maker when put to other uses. Clone samples of high-value gems or metals to make cash, or use the Radiation experiment on insects until you've got yourself a Plasma Bug and clone them infinitely - a Plasma Bug can be worth up to $4600. You are also able to Clone a Sim using a DNA Sample. This will give you a baby version of that Sim, which is added to your Household.
  • Level 10 - Group Science Project - This gives you the Group Science Project which can be found at the University Campus. You'll find it in your family inventory. It does allow multiple Sims to work the controls, although there are three outcomes based on the color you choose.
    • Interface with the Green Mind Melder Module - Hive Mind: Gives all nearby Sims the Hive Mind moodlet for 6h, which increases skill gains. Use this then head to the Library to get an even better boost when reading skill books. This is one useful buff and makes leveling Science all the more worth it.
    • Adjust the Blue Magnatomic Pulse Array - Everyone nearby is knocked out and gets the Power Nap moodlet for 3h. Upon waking from the power nap, all motives are filled!
    • Study the Red Pad Tie Node - Uninhibited moodlet for 4h. May encourage Streaking among those affected.
  • Fourth Outcome - All Three Activated - Nessa wrote to tell me about this one. You can do it with a single Sim, or three who have achieved level 10 Science. When all 3 are lit, you'll get a white beam instead. This calls down a positive meteor shower of collectibles and loot. No one will be harmed by the experiment. She says that you can do it with a single Sim if you use each of the 3 nodes, watching the bars on the side. Use one, let the meter fill to 33%, use the other to 66% and finally to 99%. Using any of the three colors, you'll then get a white beam that calls down the Meteor Shower.

Science Skill Challenges
There are two skill challenges for Science: Free Range Scientist requires you to use the analyze interaction 100 times, and cuts the time between Correlate Scientific Data from 12h to 6h at level 10 Science. Experienced Experimentalist takes 100 Experiments - of the four types with Experiment in the name on the Research Station. Experiments with the Group Science Project also count toward this total. Completing this challenge will give your Sim $10,000 and a plaque for the wall.

Share Tips and FAQs (22)

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Ess says...
I'm having trouble performing the ink blot test on other Sims, it doesn't show up under the 'Friendly' social interaction. Is there anything special you need to do?
12th May 2013 3:25am
ingognito101 says...
maybe you have to have your sim have the friendly personality trait
21st June 2018 8:03pm
Sasho says...
I've noticed most plumbots cannot do it, but if it is a different type of sim, i dont know.
9th June 2019 11:51pm
Les says...
In regards to the 'research sample' of the science station and the 'correlate scientific data' option at the science lab (on any world) there appears to be a need bu the facility for specific research. For example, I had my sim research several samples of fish, then had her go to the lab to correlate the data but was only rewarded a small amount because the lab wanted research on minerals.

My question is, is there a way to tell what the lab needs so I know what to research. I feel compelled to complain if there is not as it takes a good long while to research a single sample let alone a stack and if I spend all my time researching fish but the lab wants data on minerals, I'll have wasted that time. In the walkthrough, a reward of several hundred simoleons is mentioned. I would like to know how that was accomplished. Please and Thank You.
12th June 2014 5:39pm
James says...
Failing the Radiation experiment on an insect can give you the 4h Radioactive Bug Bite negative moodlet (icon is the radiation symbol) when it runs out you either throw up, or get a Oddly Powerful positive moodlet. Havn;t seen any other results yet.
2nd October 2013 8:12pm
Sonshine says...
Hi, for those who are still playing this game, I've found something FAR more lucrative than Plasma Bugs. If your sim gets some Tiberium in the meteor shower when he/she works the Group Science Project, have them clone it until you have plenty, then get it spire cut. It nets anywhere from $38k to $42k after you leave it sit and grow for about 24 sim hrs or so! They don't *always* grow, but most of the time they do.
12th September 2015 10:33pm
Dark says...
Can sims doo experiments on pets like squirrel?
2nd June 2013 2:35pm
Samantha says...

There's a want my sim has called Perform Herbal Experiment. Is it a glitch or an option once you have more of a higher Science skill?
8th February 2014 1:56pm
Omar says...
-There's a chance of being electrocuted if your Sim(s) fail an experiment.
-The ZRX-9000 Science Research Station will not interact with any supernatural plants. (This includes there samples)
-Cloning plants doesn't not yield the same quality as the plant cloned (i.e. if you clone a perfect apple you may get a normal or even putrid apple)
**note as mentioned in the guide the more you clone the better your chance of cloning the highest quality **
Will post if I discover more :)
12th August 2013 12:06am
Hannah says...
My sim has started gaining the science skill and i was wondering if it helps them if they were to go into the science or medical career?

Thanks :)
5th October 2013 7:57pm
Sasho says...
Yes. It does.
9th June 2019 11:53pm
simonetwothree says...
Having a problem with cloning minerals, both gems and metals. I don't know if it's because I analyzed cut gems and smelted metals, it might be but I'm sure I analyzed them uncut as well... anyway, both are coming out cloned in their raw state without the option to cut/smelt them.

Also, to add to The Aussie Bloke's point, cloning raw Tiberium is extremely profitable (cloning cut Tiberium is okay too, but if you have Supernatural each raw Tiberium can be cut with the gem cutting machine, resulting in enough cut gems and gem dust to make three or four spires) and be sure to sell them through the Consignment store, not just by cashing them in - they're worth almost $100K apiece when you consign them.
5th February 2014 8:52am
MarsJenkar says...
Late reply, but one thing you can try is to take the item out of their inventory, place it near the Sim you want to have it, and have that Sim Collect it. That seems to fix any issues with the items.
20th October 2018 11:48am
Ree says...
When you clone a sim, does the clone baby become the child of the cloned sim, or a child of the scientist, or both?
None of the above. It's not related to anyone.
25th June 2013 10:38am
Bka says...
Is there any way to correlate scientific data outside of university?
25th August 2013 7:35pm
Sasho says...
Yes. Go to the local Science Lab.
9th June 2019 11:54pm
Olsen says...
Hi, in my game there are no lightbeams from the Group science project only the lights on the side, Sims get the mood icons but no lightbeam and no things falling down like meteors, alien come now and then that is it, is it a error maybe because patch 1.55 or something else? I did try different graphics settings
Not sure. I can do some testing when I have a moment. Today is a big day for the guide due to the release of Island Paradise.

You're sure they completed the action of using one of the panels? You remembered to pull the lever of doom?
25th June 2013 10:52am
Olsen says...
Hi, thank you :) yes i tryed all tree coulers more than one time and got the icons after pulling lever of doom even the one fore watching meteorrain but there was nothing.
25th June 2013 11:14am
SLawler says...
When I clone gem samples, the message is a success but a gem doesn't appear in my inventory. Cloning supernovium has worked. I have the original, unsmelted supernovium in my inventory, but the gems my samples are from have been cut and stored; I'm not sure if that's related to the problem.

Also, I have been unable to smelt the cloned supernovium, and I'm concerned that if I'm able to clone gems, I'll also be unable to cut them.

Does anyone know if this is an intentional mechanic or a bug? If there are any fixes or workarounds?
5th March 2014 1:26am
Selena gomez says...
I can't get a plant sim or an alien I'm unlucky anyone got any tips to help me with please
2nd June 2013 5:50pm
Nea says...
If you find a forbidden-seed (or whatever it is called) just plant it, and hope for a plantsim-baby. Or you could make a sim eat it, so he/she becomes a plantsim. Then I just cheated to make him/her pregnant with the mod, and got lots of seeds, then panted.
14th June 2013 8:09am
The Aussie Bloke says...
Just wanted to chip in with a nifty little thing I found.

If you have World Adventures as well as University Life, don't waste your time cloning plasma bugs. Far more profitable to get your hands on some Tiberium and clone that. Just remember not to sell your last Tiberium until you've cloned it successfully. Currently exceeding 1mil just from abusing that (well, okay, I have a self employed gardener and military career man but they both kinda pale in comparison to selling half a dozen large spire tiberium at once).
16th January 2014 7:42am
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