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K-12 Technology
si.edu

Sep 01, 2020 2020-09-01

Mobile Learning

App Engaging Students in Solving a Historical Mystery

Could there be ghosts trapped in the basement of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History? With the sudden and curious departure of her last intern, Museum Curator Isabella Wagner needs students’ help solving a mystery dating back to the Civil War. After downloading Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery, an app for iOS devices, students will assume the role of a Smithsonian intern to solve puzzles, find clues, decipher documents, and explore cartes de visite photographs from the museum’s collection. These small photographs were an early form of social media—collected and shared with family members and friends in the mid-nineteenth century. Through stunning high-resolution imagery, Ripped Apart simulates the type of investigative work done by Smithsonian curators, fellows, and interns, while it provides players aged 13 and above with the same thrill of discovery the Smithsonian staff experience when solving a historical mystery. The game explores slavery and abolition, gender roles, and political differences between the North and the South, and gives players multiple perspectives on the causes, course, character, and outcomes of the Civil War. After playing the game, students can visit the Ripped Apart website to learn more about the real stories and behind-the-scenes research that went into creating the simulation. Cost: Free

STEM • STEAM • STREAM Social Studies Gamification/Game-Based Learning Information Literacy

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