ITEST is a serious game set on a Mars colony and designed to introduce middle school students to the variety of career options related to science, technology, engineering, and math. The idea that data collection is not the only goal of research and exploration is central to this game. How scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals USE the information they gather is just as important to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
This game consists of a suite of five modules that allow students to “try on” diverse careers such as bioinformatics analyst, archivist, software engineer, and much more! In each game, students must solve puzzles and acquire necessary skills to solve problems. Each career delves into a different aspect of how real careers use scientific and technical data. From building phylogenetic trees out of DNA sequences to taking pictures of the Martian surface, players experience that STEM professionals aren’t just scientists, but explorers through puzzle mechanics.
Once players have tried all five careers, they must use the knowledge they’ve gained to solve a medical mystery: the colony’s doctor has fallen ill with a mysterious disease. Is this a routine Earth bug or something more sinister? Will they find the cause in time?