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National Science Foundation Increases Game Funding

BLOOMINGTON, IN—January 15, 2008—Information in Place, Inc. (IIPI) today announced a 50% increase in funding by the National Science Foundation of its effort titled “Developing a Commercial Video Game for Tweens to Support Complex Systems Thinking.”  This effort will produce an innovative, cutting-edge, commercial video game, Virtual Astronaut, that inspires and entices middle school children to engage in complex systems-based problems to learn STEM by using a stealth learning approach. IIPI will combine the best in commercial game play with the latest in learning sciences research and design to develop a game that students will want to play and that are tied to national academics standards.

Playing innovative video games that touch children’s imagination may act as a catalyst for a much-needed renaissance in math and science. Most video games focus on fun, and educational games focus on learning – combining the two so that neither fun nor learning are sacrificed has not been done well by a commercial game. By developing this approach, IIPI will create a new model of game design that moves past first person shooters to a new genre of first person explorers using stealth learning that forward children’s capabilities without sacrificing the fun and engagement. While one game alone will not solve all of the problems with STEM education, this research will contribute to our understanding of how to design video games to support stealth learning. This innovation supports the use of using innovative technologies for enhancing student learning, problem solving, and participation in STEM topics and will:

  1. Meet the need of improving students’ the understanding and learning of scientific and technical principles as well as increase problem-solving capability;
  2. Facilitate interactive learning and collaborative learning;
  3. Broaden access to high-quality science and technology education; and
  4. Promote access for those with disabilities.

For more information about this and other serious games efforts, please visit here or contact us using the form on the bottom of this page.

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