|Citizen Science shown in GameUp|
The sad fact is, that due to shrinking budgets, time constraints, and, at times, facilities constraints, Science class in many schools is less and less about actual science and more and more about textbook reading and information recall. This is where games and simulations are coming in to fill the gaps. I get that a game is never going to replace real research and lab work, but it is certainly a better substitute than worksheet packets.
My school building has added two new Science teachers for next year. I would love to be able to share some great game based learning resources with them. That got me thinking, what would I recommend? What's out there? What is the current state of game based learning when it comes to Science?
There are a lot of companies now that are producing solid simulations and games in science field. Some of these projects are in their infancy. Some have been forgotten and neglected rather than reiterated and expanded. Still, with the current STEM focus in education and the sheer awesomeness and promise of these projects, it's worth taking a look. With that said, let's take a look at some of the most promising games and simulations I've seen lately for science.
Cyber STEM Academyhttp://cyberstemacademy.com/
Cyber STEM Academy "is a virtual network of 3D schools. The schools serve as a multi-user platform to manage learning activities as well as student achievements" (CSAInfo).
I spoke with members of the team from Immersive3d this last weekend at EdSurge Baltimore. They definitely have a good handle on Games and Simulations in the classroom. They're currently partnering with Baltimore County Public Schools to develop some great content. This project is in the early stages, but it looks very promising.