Over 90 learning games and immersive experiences were on display this week at the ED Games Expo in D.C.. From modeling molecules to arguing people’s rights, applied and playful learning took center stage at this gathering of creators who brought a host of inspiring and novel learning games and technologies. Here are just a few of the games we played that were our absolute favorites:
Electric Fun Stuff: Teachers know that student voice and student choice is key to making learning meaningful which is why Mission US is the Oregon Trail of our day! Players are cast in the role of young people who lived through extraordinary times during American History to make learning memorable. At the expo we were able to play in missions about both the Great Depression and the Revolutionary War and cannot wait to see what new missions they’ll be releasing in 2018 including some exciting new work in VR.
Schell Games: The brilliant minds at Schell games have an exciting track record creating incredible digital and virtual reality experiences and Happy Atoms is an exciting hybrid of their work. This is the app I wish we had in high school chemistry! This experience links magnetic molecular modeling set to a digital experience where students can see what molecule they built how it fits into the world of molecules. Also shared was their VR chemistry lab SuperChem where players perform experiments in a safe and immersive environment.
iCivics: Learning through applied practice is key to the success of iCivics games. Their new game Do I Have a Right places learners as lawyers specializing in constitutional law. In this game, players must determine if potential clients have rights, match those clients with the most qualified lawyers, and win cases to build their law firm. Never before have the Amendments been so relevant, exciting, and accessible!
Molecular Jig: The immersive nature of virtual reality means that abstract concepts can be made concrete and processes that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye are at once clear. This is what makes the virtual reality game Immune Defense so awesome. In this game we took the driver’s seat to see proteins up close and personal. Riding across the surface of a cell we could see first hand how the shape of proteins affects their behavior. Biochemist Melanie Stegman has definitely found her calling in creating exciting games that make otherwise abstract science approachable and visible.
Issa’s Edible Adventures: Social studies meets math, science, and language arts in this interdisciplinary trip around the globe. We loved this digital game where we travel with Issa and her trusty sidekick Tartufo to international spots collecting ingredients to prepare a dish for a VIP foreign dignitary. Finally a digital game that shows how food is an exciting language that we all share.
Filament Games: Remember planting seeds and eagerly watching them grow on your classroom window sill? In Reach for the Sun students apply their knowledge of plant growth to even broader topics of plant reproduction and pollination pairing the exciting growth of their classroom plant to issues of survival and resources.
Alchemie: Chemistry teachers had many great tools to choose from at the expo including two from a former chemistry teacher! In ChirosVR middle and high school students are able to experiment with molecular construction while Connections and Isomers is a digital puzzle game that encourages learners to reach for the stars while they grow their dendrites!
Thank you to our friends who came out to play the demo of our newest game BioDive and BiomeBuilder! We missed our friends from Andamio and can’t wait to see what’s new with their games later this year when we meet up at the NSTA conference in Atlanta.