Video Game Science Literacy

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

South Dakota Hlth Tech Innovations, Inc.
SOUTH DAKOTA HEALTH, TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS, INC.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Develop a videogame for the middle school science classroom. Embedd science concepts into a virtual world where students explore the relationships between them. Ensure that game design creates a virtual world where scientific experimentation can be called ¿play.¿ Wrap the videogame in a lesson plan that embraces the game¿s strength as a discovery experience and supports it with real-life applications and authentic assessment. Decide if the tool is effective. This is a proposal to design, develop, and test the program described in the above paragraph¿a web-based middle school science module called, Creature Control: Earth Day. The research goal is to determine the effectiveness of an inquiry-driven lesson plan using a videogame as its centerpiece. Along with supporting activites, the game will address content related to the interconnectedness of living and nonliving components within an ecosystem and the delicate balance that is so often disrupted by human impact. Students will uncover overlaps in science, technology, and society and how an advance in one shapes the others. The video game and lesson plans will align with the National Science Education Standards. The curriculum will include a teacher manual to equip her with the pedagogical knowledge and resources needed to implement the module into the existing plan of study. Phase I will generate a single-player prototype version of the game that models a subset of interactions within one ecosystem. Phase II will use the framework built up by Phase I to expand the playing field in a multiplayer version of the game with multiple ecosystems to explore. Phase II will also produce a teacher manual and lesson plans to support the play experience.