Game Pairing Environmental Concepts with Computational Thinking
The Pack, created by the New York Hall of Science, is an open virtual-world game based around two timely STEM subjects—environmental awareness and computationalthinking. The game is set in a future world where healthy ecosystems have faltered and resources are scarce. To restore the environment, students embark on an open-ended quest to find food and water by using their “Pack”—creatures that have unique functions, such as digging, moving, holding, grabbing, and repeating. When their Pack has more than one type of creature, players can combine the creatures into an algorithm to perform tasks and overcome challenges. The Pack is procedurally generated, and each game students start will be in a completely unique world. As they advance, students create more complex algorithms that allow them to do new things. The game is freely downloadable on Mac and Windows computers and is available as a freeapp for iOS mobile devices.
In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
Each fall at MIT, nearly 300 young female mathematicians in grade 11 or below compete in Advantage Testing Foundation’schallenging test of mathematical creativity and insight. The goal is to promote gender equity in the STEM professions and to encourage young women with exceptional potential to become mathematical and scientific leaders.
Developed by PlayMada Games, Collisions helps high school students visualize and interact with chemistry concepts through engaging and challenging digital games that integrate with the chemistry curriculum.