Learning Nanotechnology :: NanoMission
Action Adventures in the Nano world.
NanoMission is the world's first scientifically accurate interactive 3d learning game based on understanding nano-sciences and nanotechnology.
View a sample of the game design on YOUTube
The players are challenged in imaginative environments that promotes learning about: Molecular building, Nano-Imaging, Creation of Nano-devices, Nano-medicine, Quantum Behaviour, Manipulating Electrons and Nano-Materials.
Primarily focused on 12-18 age range - the game is also a valuable and fun way to learn about nanotechnology irrespective of age. Available online for the PC and through retail for PlayStation Portable.
PlayGen are seeking sponsorship to complete the PC version of the game. Sponsor(s) will get in-game advertising and tailor made version of the game for distribution.
Founded in 2001 by gaming industry experts, PlayGen is a London based game development studio with a strong and growing track record in developing serious games for training and learning purposes.
"HEALTHIVORES" VIDEO GAME CONTEST
What is more relevant and engaging to students these days than video games? In a few short weeks, you and your students can go from no game design experience to publishing your health-related online video games on the Green Ribbon Schools website. The best part is they will show you exactly how to do this.
Game Design can be new and intimidating. So they have developed a simple Lesson Plan for teachers to follow. No matter how computer-phobic you may be, you can complete this lesson with your students in four to five weeks. No game design or coding experience is necessary. (If you already have game design experience, you can complete this in a matter of days).
So dismiss those thoughts of intimidation and truly engage your students in learning about health, while also enhancing their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and career skills. Find out how to enter. The deadline is May 1, 2012.
Rice unveils new mystery for teen-focused CSI game
First of two expansions for award-winning online science game
CAPTION: In "CSI: Web Adventures," players assume the role of a forensic investigator and try to solve a murder mystery. CREDIT: CTTL/Rice University
HOUSTON -- (March 15, 2012) -- CSI fans and would-be forensic investigators the world over can try their hand at solving an arson murder mystery online, thanks to a new federally funded expansion of Rice University's hit educational game "CSI: Web Adventures."
Rice's Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning (CTTL) this week unveiled the first of two planned expansions for its popular "CSI: Web Adventures," a game series based on the hit CBS television show. Players assume the role of a forensic investigator and try to solve murders. In the process of gathering evidence and conducting lab tests, players learn valuable lessons about scientific methods and practice.
The original "CSI: Web Adventures" games were launched in 2007 with funding from the National Science Foundation. They were designed to appeal to teens, but CTTL found the games also appealed to many adult fans of the TV show.
"About a half-million people viewed 'CSI: Web Adventures' last year, which makes it our most popular game series," said Yvonne Klisch, a CTTL researcher and grant co-investigator who oversees the games' development. "About half of the visitors to the site are return visitors, and hundreds have written to request that we add more cases."
"CSI: Web Adventures" initially featured three "cases": a training mission and two more advance murder mysteries. The circumstances of each case dictate the forensic techniques and the science topics that are covered.
From both Web-traffic patterns and posted game reviews, CTTL knows that many of the players are middle- and high-school students. Given the popularity of the games with this age group and the games' use in science classes around the world, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded the development of two new cases to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse among teens. The first, titled "Bitter Pill," debuted this week.
"Our goal is to combine both forensics and neuroscience into storylines that will educate a broad audience about the dangers of prescription drug abuse," said Leslie Miller, CTTL executive director and principal investigator on the NIDA grant. "Having the support of CBS with access to resources from the television series contributes to the game series' popularity around the world. CSI fans are also a large part of our audience."
In "Bitter Pill," players are initially called to investigate a house fire in Las Vegas. One person is dead at the scene and a second is injured. By examining the evidence and interviewing witnesses, players can eventually reconstruct what happened at the crime scene. "Bitter Pill" is the first case in "CSI: Web Adventures" to teach arson forensic methods.
Klisch said "Bitter Pill" and case No. 5, a still-untitled mystery that's scheduled to debut this fall, are the most advanced and complex whodunits yet devised for the game series. In fact, the two new cases are so complex that most players will not finish them in one class period, so Klisch said the game developers also revised the games' "save" feature to make it easier for players to solve the mysteries over several sessions.
"CSI: Web Adventures" has been viewed by 1.4 million users in 198 countries. It is available in English, Spanish and German.
CTTL's other free online science games include "MedMyst," where players investigate infectious disease outbreaks; "Reconstructors," in which students solve mysteries about chemical substances that have both harmful and helpful effects; "N-squad," which focuses on the science behind alcohol abuse; and "Cool Science Careers," a role-playing game series highlighting a variety of science careers. All of CTTL's games are available at http://webadventures.rice.edu. A sixth game series, "Virtual Clinical Trials," which simulates how clinical trials work, is under development.
$3M gaming project could help spark STEM education
MIT developing a massive multiplayer online game to help high school students with math, science
By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, eschoolnews.com
MIT will develop an online multiplayer game for high school math and biology.
A $3 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant will help the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Education Arcade build a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) to help high school students learn math and biology.
Part of the grant’s purpose will be to change the way that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics are traditionally taught in secondary schools. Studies indicate that many students fail to remain engaged and interested in STEM education in high school and college, leading to a need for highly skilled STEM employees in the nation’s workforce.
MIT Associate Professor Eric Klopfer, director of the Education Arcade and the Scheller Teacher Education Program, has researched educational gaming tools for more than 10 years. Klopfer created StarLogo TNG, a platform that helps kids create 3D simulations and games using a graphical programming language, as well as several mobile game platforms—including location-based augmented reality games.
MIT’s Education Arcade explores games that promote learning through authentic and engaging play. Aside from STEM education topics, Education Arcade projects have included history, literacy, and language learning and have been tailored to a wide range of ages. They have been designed for personal computers, handheld devices, and online delivery.
In a MMOG, many players’ avatars can interact and cooperate or compete directly in the same virtual world.
“This genre of games is uniquely suited to teaching the nature of science inquiry, because they provide collaborative, self-directed learning situations,” Klopfer said. “Players take on the roles of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to explore and explain a robust virtual world.”
The game will be aligned with the Common Core standards in mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards for high school students. It will use innovative, task-based assessment strategies embedded into the game to let students use and display mastery of the topics and skills necessary to play the game. This task-based assessment strategy also will give teachers targeted data that will enable them to track student progress and provide valuable, just-in-time feedback.
Klopfer’s team will work closely with Filament Games, a Wisconsin-based games production studio, as the project’s primary software developers.
Review the MIT Education Research page which lists documentation that goes back 15 years validating the reasons why games for education are important to develop. This is a great first step for the future.
Learn more about Filament Games
Filament - Games Free - Puzzle game where you have to deduce the location of mirrors in a black box by firing lasers into it and observing where they exit. Controls ...
Award-winning game designers begin work on neuroscience adventure
HOUSTON -- (Oct. 10, 2011) -- The award-winning educational game designers from Rice University's Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning (CTTL) are preparing to create their first online game series about clinical trials.
The new series, called "Virtual Clinical Trials," will be the sixth in CTTL's popular Web Adventures series for young teens. The center has designed games over the past decade with a set of titles that lets students try out different science careers, track the origin of disease outbreaks, solve crimes by using forensic science and more.
"Virtual Clinical Trials" was made possible by a five-year $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and is one of eight grants nationwide funded by the Blueprint for Neuroscience award. The Rice team will design a game in which teens play the role of a patient, doctor or research nurse in a neuroscience clinical trial. By playing the game, students will learn about the steps that clinicians must take to find out whether a new treatment or therapy is effective. Over five years, three games will be developed, evaluated and disseminated worldwide.
"There is a great deal of knowledge about neuroscience topics and science process skills that can be woven into games about clinical trials," said Kristi Bowling, science education project manager at CTTL. "These are topics students normally study, but the games give real-world context and applications."
Bowling said the new game will be a role-playing adventure. Students will be able to experience from the perspective of a patient, research nurse and doctor what it is like being involved in a clinical trial.
"As another potential, we hope to find that students who have played the game are more inclined to participate in clinical trials in the future," Bowling said.
CTTL's previous games, which are all available free online for anyone at http://webadventures.rice.edu use some of the same techniques to get middle school students interested in science. "CSI: Web Adventures," a game based on the popular TV show "CSI," lets students gather forensic evidence to solve crimes. "MedMyst" lets students investigate infectious disease outbreaks. In "Reconstructors," students are challenged to solve mysteries about chemical substances that have both harmful and helpful effects. "N-squad" is another forensic game that focuses on the science behind alcohol abuse. "Cool Science Careers" allows students to experience what it is like to be a scientist by role-playing neuroscience-related careers and performing virtual experiments.
Bowling said it can take up to a year to produce one game. CTTL staff work with teachers and subject-matter experts to create the plot, characters, storyline and learning objectives for a game. The final step with any game is finding out whether and how much it helps students learn. CTTL completes a detailed assessment of how well the game performed. Dozens of teachers and hundreds of students are typically involved in an experimental design to test how well each game meets its objectives.
"Our goals are to create engaging games that teach science and to contribute to research about learning through games," Bowling said.
CTTL's games have won awards, but Bowling said the highest praise comes from teachers, medical professionals and students who write to tell the center's staff how helpful the games are for them.
"The room of seventh-graders was so quiet as they worked … that you could hear a pin drop!" wrote one teacher. "They even came in on their own time to finish."
To find out more about CTTL, visit http://cttl.rice.edu/
Gamers succeed where scientists fail
Molecular structure of retrovirus enzyme solved, doors open to new AIDS drug design
IMAGE: Dr. Firas Khatib of the University of Washington Department of Biochemistry in Seattle led a study in which online gamers solved in three weeks a molecular biology problem that had stumped scientists for more than a decade.
Credit: University of Washington
Watch the Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWq4UG2IzAE&feature=channel_video_title
Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules.
After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players. The scientists challenged the gamers to produce an accurate model of the enzyme. They did it in only three weeks.
This class of enzymes, called retroviral proteases, has a critical role in how the AIDS virus matures and proliferates. Intensive research is under way to try to find anti-AIDS drugs that can block these enzymes, but efforts were hampered by not knowing exactly what the retroviral protease molecule looks like.
"We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," said Dr. Firas Khatib of the University of Washington Department of Biochemistry. Khatib is a researcher in the protein structure lab of Dr. David Baker, professor of biochemistry.
Remarkably, the gamers generated models good enough for the researchers to refine and, within a few days, determine the enzyme's structure. Equally amazing, surfaces on the molecule stood out as likely targets for drugs to de-active the enzyme.
"These features provide exciting opportunities for the design of retroviral drugs, including AIDS drugs," wrote the authors of a paper appearing Sept. 18 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The scientists and gamers are listed as co-authors.
This is the first instance that the researchers are aware of in which gamers solved a longstanding scientific problem.
Fold-it was created by computer scientists at the University of Washington Center for Game Science in collaboration with the Baker lab.
"The focus of the UW Center for Game Sciences," said director Dr. Zoran Popovic, associate professor of computer science and engineering, "is to solve hard problems in science and education that currently cannot be solved by either people or computers alone."
The solution of the virus enzyme structure, the researchers said, "indicates the power of online computer games to channel human intuition and three-dimensional pattern matching skills to solve challenging scientific problems."
With names like Foldit Contenders Group and Foldit Void Crushers Group, the gamer teams were fired up for the task of real-world molecule modeling problems. The online protein folding game captivates thousands of avid players worldwide and engages the general public in scientific discovery.
Players come from all walks of life. The game taps into their 3-D spatial abilities to rotate chains of amino acids in cyberspace. New players start at the basic level, "One Small Clash," proceed to "Swing it Around" and step ahead until reaching "Rubber Band Reversal."
Direct manipulation tools, as well as assistance from a computer program called Rosetta, encourage participants to configure graphics into a workable protein model. Teams send in their answers, and UW researchers constantly improve the design of the game and its puzzles by analyzing the players' problem-solving strategies.
Figuring out the shape and misshape of proteins contributes to research on causes of and cures for cancer, Alzheimer's, immune deficiencies and a host of other disorders, as well as to environmental work on biofuels.
Referring to this week's report of the online gamers' molecule solution opening new avenues for anti-viral drug research, Carter Kimsey, program director, National Science Foundation Division of Biological Infrastructure, observed, "After this discovery, young people might not mind doing their science homework. This is an innovative approach to getting humans and computer models to 'learn from each other' in real-time."
The researchers noted that much attention has been given to the possibilities of crowd-sourcing and game playing in scientific discovery. Their results indicate the potential for integrating online video games into real-world science.
Dr. Seth Cooper, of the UW Department of Computing Science and Engineering, is a co-creator of Foldit and its lead designer and developer. He studies human-computer exploration methods and the co-evolution of games and players.
"People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at," Cooper said. "Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."
Games like Foldit are evolving. To piece together the retrovirus enzyme structure, Cooper said, gamers used a new Alignment Tool for the first time to copy parts of know molecules and test their fit in an incomplete model.
"The ingenuity of game players," Khatib said, "is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems.
According to Popovic, "Foldit shows that a game can turn novices into domain experts capable of producing first-class scientific discoveries. We are currently applying the same approach to change the way math and science are taught in school."
The other scientists involved in this project were Frank DiMaio and James Thompson, both of the UW Department of Biochemistry, and Maciej Kazmierczyk, Miroslaw Gilski, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zabranska, and Mariusz Jaskolski, all of the Faculty of Chemistry of A. Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, and Iva Pichova of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.
The project was supported by the UW Center for Game Science, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Microsoft Corp.
A New York middle school is teaching students with video games. Can its approach transform education? Related Article
"WHAT IF TEACHERS GAVE UP the vestiges of their educational past, threw away the worksheets, burned the canon and reconfigured the foundation upon which a century of learning has been built? What if we blurred the lines between academic subjects and reimagined the typical American classroom so that, at least in theory, it came to resemble a typical American living room or a child’s bedroom or even a child’s pocket, circa 2010 — if, in other words, the slipstream of broadband and always-on technology that fuels our world became the source and organizing principle of our children’s learning? What if, instead of seeing school the way we’ve known it, we saw it for what our children dreamed it might be: a big, delicious video game?"
Article and Video at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/magazine/19video-t.html?_r=1
Download Research files on Games for Education and contact us as consultants on your education game project.
Educational Games Outreach Program at Nobelprize.org
Nobelprize.org has a unique way of introducing the Nobel Prize that goes beyond the mere presentation of facts. These introductions, aptly called 'educational', are made in the form of games, experiments, and simulated environments ready to be explored and discovered. The productions are aimed at the young, particularly the 14-18 age groups, who may know about the Nobel Prizes and the Nobel Laureates, but often lack a deeper understanding about the Nobel Prize-awarded works.
These educational productions do not require previous knowledge. A central thought or issue is explored during 10-20 minutes of activity, using a specific Nobel Prize-awarded work as a springboard for the whole exercise.
The productions offer an excellent way of using the Internet for homework, or just plain, wholesome entertainment. The high level of interactivity and the sophisticated illustrations ensure an enriching time spent in front of the computer.
Watch the presentation movie about Nobelprize.org.
Play games at
Computer Games Can Make Kids More Social, Not Less
Contrary to common education wisdom, computer games and other technologies can foster community-building, a strong sense of identity and higher-level planning even in very young students, UC Davis researchers report.
"There is a lot of hemming and hawing among educators about the introduction of technology in the early grades," said Cynthia Carter Ching, associate professor of education at the University of California, Davis. "But the worst-case scenarios just don't pan out. Technology can facilitate creativity and social awareness, even when we don't design the use of it to do so. And when we do design technology activities with these things in mind, the possibilities are endless."
According to Ching, early childhood educators often argue that technology can squelch young children's creativity and social interaction in the classroom.
But in two recent studies of kindergarten and first-grade students, Ching has observed that children find ways to transform their experiences with technology into fun, highly organized group activities. She also found that technology-based activities can be explicitly designed to foster social reflection and advanced planning among young children.
Ching and her collaborator, X. Christine Wang from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, presented the research at the annual meeting of the American Association of Educational Research in New York City.
In their first study, Ching and Wang observed children who chose to play a computer game during their free time. Though only one child could play at a time, the children negotiated turns and gave each other advice about how to play the game.
"Though this is hardly the ideal setting for social interaction and higher-level thinking, the children exhibited a great deal of executive planning skills and complex social negotiations without any guidance or interference from adults," Ching said.
In the second study, children were given digital cameras and told to create digital photo journals. The students displayed creativity and engaged in complex planning at every stage of the assignment, from how they framed their shots to how they chose to organize them to tell a story, Ching found.
"This study shows that rather than technology being something that children merely use, it can be a creative tool for increased reflection on social networks, friendships, relationships with teachers and a sense of self within the world of school," Ching said.
Ching and Wang received the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies at last year's AERA meeting.
Source: UC Davis
CAN VIDEO GAMES TEACH US HOW TO BEHAVE?
Research focuses on the positive effects of computer games
Learning social attitude at the computer Credit: Love Krittaya/Wikimedia Commons
For the first time, the positive effects of computer games on thoughts, emotions and behaviour will be the subject of closer scrutiny by social psychologists. A total of three studies will explore how, to which extent and for how long cooperative gaming behaviour influences the personality of gamers positively. The project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), will complete the current state of research on personality effects from computer games, which has previously been dominated by studies of negative consequences. The studies have the potential to offer significant ideas for analysing and reinforcing social skills in all age groups.
Scientists currently agree that violent video games increase aggressive tendencies. When it comes to cooperative games, i.e. games played in a team with other (human) players pursuing the same goal, however, the effects are less well known. In such games, the success of one player depends on the success of another player, and vice versa. Can these games influence the thoughts and emotions of players, as well as their cooperative behaviour? A team of social psychologists will be looking for answers in a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund.
FROM FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER TO TEAM PLAYER
Prof. Tobias Greitemeyer from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck, who is in charge of the project, explains the background: "In two earlier pilot studies, we had already noted the positive effects of collective gaming. However, to validate these findings, we must conduct more extensive, longer studies. That´s exactly what we´ll be able to do now." The project, which is about to be launched, is divided into three distinctive studies seeking to answer different questions.
The first correlational study is set to investigate the magnitude and type of impact that cooperative video games have on prosocial cognition. Participants will be interviewed about their preferences and gaming habits. Subsequent word completion tasks will highlight the prevalence of cooperative thought patterns; these are considered to be an indicator of the tendency towards community-oriented behaviour. Surveys and so-called "dilemma tasks", in which participants have to make decisions in situations of social conflict, provide clues about their social value orientation. For example, prosocial gamers can be distinguished from competitive and individualistic ones. It is this distinction that points to important correlations between gaming behaviour and emotional attitudes.
Furthermore, a longitudinal study will focus on the degree of positive effects after several months of consumption of cooperative video games. It will investigate ways of thinking and emotional attitudes, as well as behavioural patterns. Comprehensive surveys conducted on two occasions, 4-6 months apart, will demonstrate both the changes that have occurred and the predictive value of the first interview.
HIGH SCORE IN SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
The third study in the project has an experimental design and will look at directly quantifiable causal relationships between gaming behaviour and its positive effects. In two experimental set-ups, participants will either pursue a common goal or play alone. Afterwards, the tendency towards prosocial thinking and the empathy of the players will be measured. The results of the surveys and tasks are expected to offer clues about whether prosocial thinking, emotions, such as empathy, or both, give rise to community-oriented behaviour.
All in all, the three studies have been designed using methods that seek to make them universally applicable, and to offer a scientifically substantiated result. Prof. Greitemeyer explains: "Whereas the correlational and longitudinal studies relate directly to the participants´ world of lived experience, the third study has an experimental design and therefore allows for a direct identification of causalities." The scope of the project is as comprehensive as its design: between 300 and 2.700 schoolchildren, students and adults will be interviewed over a period of 4 to 6 months. The FWF project will therefore provide the first thoroughly substantiated data on a highly topical but scarcely researched phenomenon.