Learning from Nature: Marine Educational Games that Scaffold Science Inquiry
The Killer Snails team presented a talk at the CUNY Games Festival titled "Learning from Nature: Marine Educational Games that Scaffold Science Inquiry." Our talk focused on a few major themes we've been exploring through the development of Assassins of the Sea.
First, we wanted to demonstrate how the Killer Snails game aims to advance the understanding of how people learn while capitalizing on the excitement of games for learning.
The Killer Snails game simulates scientific researchers seeking out, capturing, and extracting deadly venom cocktails from these unique marine creatures whose peptides are used for biomedical application. This deck building game engages learners in a scientifically sound inquiry process while slowly revealing important conceptual knowledge as learners work to solve the peptide puzzle and win the game.
Second, the game based approach to teaching this content is an opportunity to support current and future educators whose goal is to teach science content in engaging and applicable ways.
Finally, our current research of the effectiveness of this game is in its infancy. We are in the process of evaluating the mechanisms underlying science learning as a result of this game by assessing the learning progression that a student travels during game play. By mapping learning outcomes of the game to specific pieces of content we hope to understand how scientific knowledge is constructed and what components are most useful to secure knowledge acquisition.
The conference was a lot of fun to attend and we met some amazing people!