Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cashton Students Test Educational Games for UW-Madison's Discovery Institutes


On Thursday, May 3rd middle and high school science students participated in some educational gaming research for UW-Madison researchers.  Meaghan Rothschild and Michael Beall of the Morgridge Institute for Research had students play the educational game Progenitor X.  Progenitor X is a game developed to teach players about the relationships between cells, tissues, and organs, including the basic scientific principles of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell research.   While the researches have spent many hours developing the game; they need middle and high school students to test these games.  The goal for their visit was to collect very specific data.  Prior to playing the game, students took a short pretest to determine their background knowledge on the subject.  While students played the game, analytics software monitored each move that students made to better understand the choices students make while playing the game.  Following the game, students took a post test and were able to give feedback directly to the researchers.  The research collected will  help developers create a game that enhances the learning experience.  Our students were able to learn about stem cells, participate in applied science research, and discuss the elements of game design with professional game designers.  We are excited for the opportunity to participate in other play-testing projects in all content areas.

Thank you to Monte Fernholz (middle school science), Julie Lundeen (high school science), and Krissa Byom (high school science/special education) for coordinating the experience.




Pictures courtesy of Kim Fanning
If you are interest in learning more about the Educational  Research taking place at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery a few resources are available below:



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