6 Game Resources for learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
Monique Liles recommends the following Games for learning STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), in an article for E School news;
1. Glass Labs:
2. Cell Craft:
3. Pandemic II:
4. ChemGame Tutor:
6. Ellen J. McHenry’s website:
Liles writes “In my classroom, we play a lot of games, frequently as the lesson. We then discuss what the students experienced in the game and make content connections via whole-group discussion. I often create a graphic organizer or worksheet for students to use to organize their thoughts about the game. When I have my biology and life science students play Cell Craft, for example, I demonstrate gameplay and features for the whole class using my laptop and projector. Students complete the organizer while we go through the game as a group and discuss the content. Then, students get a chance to play the game and really immerse themselves.”
Monique Liles is a teacher at Babb Middle School in Forest Park, GA. She is a member of Discovery Education’s Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a global community of educators that are passionate about transforming the learning experience with digital media.
To read the full article at E School click here;
Game Worlds facilitate Collaborative, Inquiry-Based, and Self-Directed learning
Jason Haas, of MIT, writes that;
“Commercial massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, like World of Warcraft offer a number of features common to great learning environments. These games are, to varying degrees, collaborative, inquiry-based, and self-directed, all of which make them a prime place to explore aspects of math and science learning. Having a “world” in which to situate problems also means that players can solve something that feels meaningful to them; and see the consequences of their individual and collective actions. The massively multiplayer nature of these games also creates an opportunity for students to address problems with colleagues. Problems too large for any one of them to solve by themselves can be solved collectively by gathering data together, comparing notes, and acting decisively, confident in their evidence-based decisions.
At their best (and, frankly, even at their worst), these games function as a kind of society.
So, if you can combine these existing practices with engaging math and science content, imagine the learning experience you could provide. Thanks to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re doing just that.
Our game, The Radix Endeavor, is a massively multiplayer online learning game, designed by our lab, The Education Arcade at MIT, and developed by Filament Games in Madison, Wisc. The game places thousands of players in an Earth-like world with a technical and social situation similar to our 1400s.”
To read the full article click here;
A teacher founded company, “Power Up Education”, creates games for learning
“Power Up Education is a small teacher-founded company committed to creating products that promote learning using interactive content, multimedia, educational games, and more. The Power Up story starts with a science teacher named Dan Caldwell. In 2009 Dan was in his 8th year of teaching middle school science in Northern New York State to seventh and eighth graders. During one seventh grade class in which the students were working on writing short stories about traveling through the digestive system from the point of view of the food Dan was asked by his students if he would also write a story. He responded by saying, “Well, how about I write a song instead, since songwriting is a way that I like to tell stories.” While playing the rather silly, yet scientifically accurate song to the class the power of music became instantly clear. The students were engaged in the lesson, they were enjoying themselves, and they were actually LEARNING!
Over the course of the next year Dan worked on creating the sciTunes Human Body Curriculum. During that time Dan realized that the power of this curriculum could be taken even further by using online learning games to engage students even further. To find out more about the sciTunes Curriculum visit www.sciTunes.com.
In the fall of 2010 Dan entered a human body iPad game in the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The game, now known as Body Adventure With Captain Brainy-Pants! was selected as a finalist for the Developer’s Prize. After attending the finals in Washington D.C. and presenting the games to a panel of experts in the field, Dan was awarded the Best Teacher Made Game Prize!
Power Up Education is committed to taking the sciTunes Curriculum even further. We are currently developing more learning games for a variety of platforms including free for the web. The sciTunes Human Body Curriculum is also being developed as an interactive online curriculum that can be accessed by iPads, Tablets, as well as traditional web browsers on PCs and Macs. There will be much more news to come on this development!
Why the name change? We are now called Power Up Education because we fully intend to take our highly effective teaching strategies found in the sciTunes Curriculum and apply them to other subjects including, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, and other branches of Science.” – From the company web site – To learn more about “Power Up Education” click here; http://poweruped.com/
Standards based science game platform offered to schools and students for free
“In response to the declining state of science education in America, MdBio Foundation, Inc. today announced it will provide science teachers and students nationwide with an innovative and immersive educational video game platform free of charge beginning in 2013. The online platform, called MdBioSphere(TM), seeks to advance student comprehension in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and revitalize student interest in science-related careers through the use of innovative gaming technology. The serious game is being developed by Hunt Valley, Md.-based BreakAway, Ltd., and will be previewed at the BIO International Convention (June 18-21, 2012, Booth 0753 in the Maryland Pavilion) in Boston.
“The Foundation believes that creating a globally-competitive U.S. workforce begins in the classroom,” said J.J. Finkelstein, chairman of the MdBio Foundation. “The MdBioSphere platform, which will be the first serious game platform to be mapped to the new U.S. science education standards, can be a breakthrough application that helps inspire the next generation of scientists that America needs if we are to compete in the 21st century. The MdBioSphere platform merges the captivating elements of online gaming with educationally-driven STEM curricula to deliver an exciting classroom experience that enriches both students and teachers.”
The first MdBioSphere game will be “Survival!,” which will let students explore the building blocks of life science, including heredity, DNA structure and genetic code. Students create their own living creature by selecting different mates and genetic traits that must survive a virtual world by finding food, building shelter and defending against predators. Game play challenges and reinforces student knowledge to ensure retention of critical life science curricula.
“Serious games and simulations are some of the most innovative tools available to educators today,” said Douglas Whatley, CEO and founder of BreakAway. “As a pioneer in the serious games market, BreakAway harnesses the power of game technology to transform the way people work, learn and live their lives. By creating powerful learning tools, like MdBioSphere, students are exposed to content in an engaging format and become empowered learners. BreakAway is excited to work with the MdBio Foundation in support of its vision for enhancing middle and high school bioscience education and awareness.”
“Troubling signs” in Science Education There is growing consensus that science education in the United States has failed to keep pace with other developing countries. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology warned of “troubling signs” in a 2010 report, stating that “despite our historical record of achievement, the United States now lags behind other nations in STEM education at the elementary and secondary levels. International comparisons of our students’ performance in science and mathematics consistently place the United States in the middle of the pack or lower. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, less than one-third of U.S. eighth graders show proficiency in mathematics and science.” In the Foundation’s home state of Maryland, nearly two-thirds of eighth graders are not proficient in science, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
How Serious Gaming Can Help In its 2012 report on higher education technology trends, the New Media Consortium believes it is just two-three years before there will be widespread adoption of game-based learning. Studies show serious games can improve student performance in the classroom. Serious game-play can deliver a 40 percent increase in learning improvements when compared to traditional lecture programs, according to a 2009 study published in Science Magazine by the Kaufman Foundation. Serious games allow the student to engage in inductive learning — or learning by example — so that the student uses modern technology to think differently and solve real world problems. The expectation will be to improve science learning outcomes and assessment scores while stimulating student interest in science topics and careers. Serious games are increasingly used by top U.S. employers, including IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton and Cisco, for product development and public awareness.
About MdBio Foundation: The MdBio Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization that provides and supports bioscience awareness, education and workforce development in Maryland. It has been instrumental in providing companies with business development and information services in addition to education and workforce development programs. Its signature program, the MdBioLab, is a state-of-the-art mobile laboratory that travels to Maryland high schools each year providing students with a unique bioscience laboratory experience. The Foundation is an affiliate of the Tech Council of Maryland.
Source – MdBio Foundation