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Press Release 08-147

Real-World Lessons in Virtual World

Designing and playing computer games can engage students in science and mathematics

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Photo of a student demonstrating a computer game she developed to another student.

A high-school student demonstrates a game she developed, and solicits feedback from a middle-school student. In this game, players work with colored balls that fall from above. Each ball displays a math problem and the object of the game is to move around the buckets at the bottom of the screen to match the problem to its correct answer.

Credit: Girlstart, Inc.


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With WolfQuest, an interactive computer game, players are immersed in every aspect of a wolf's survival in its habitat.

Credit: Minnesota Zoo and eduweb

 

Students demonstating their computer games at an event.

'Take it Global' is the showcase in which students involved in IT Girl demonstrated their games to a wider audience. The event was held at Silicon Labs in Austin, Texas.

Credit: Girlstart, Inc.


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Computer screen shot of a wolf avatar.

WolfQuest allows players to customize their wolf avatars.

Credit: Minnesota Zoo and eduweb


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Computer screen capture of a wolf avatar attacking an elk.

WolfQuest players must learn how to track and kill elk. A wolf's energy is best spent working in packs and attacking animals other than healthy bulls.

Credit: Minnesota Zoo and eduweb


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Computer screen capture of an avatar and a dome-topped virtual city on the moon's surface.

In LunarQuest, players interact with an environment that includes a dome-topped city on the surface of the moon.

Credit: Janis Cannon-Bowers, I.S.T., University of Central Florida


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Computer screen capture showing virtual robots that deliver mail to lunar colonists.

LunarQuest's mailbots are robots that are programmed to deliver the mail to lunar colonists. When the mailbots start getting lost, a mini-game challenges students to reprogram them, applying the principles of vectors.

Credit: Janis Cannon-Bowers, I.S.T., University of Central Florida


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