1. James Laffey
  2. http://sislt.missouri.edu/author/laffeyj/
  3. Professor
  5. University of Missouri
  1. Joe Griffin
  3. University of Missouri
  1. justin sigoloff
  3. University of Missouri

Mission HydroSci

U411C140081; R305A150364

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

Mission HydroSci (MHS) is a game-based 3D virtual environment for teaching and learning key concepts and knowledge of water systems and building competencies in scientific argumentation in ways that support meeting Next Generation Science Standards. Meeting these new science education goals for middle school students requires rich learning contexts for exploring substantive science ideas through engagement in scientific practices. Our goal is to meet these educational goals for all learners by using online learning to serve those in distance education and rural communities as well as more traditional and well-resourced classrooms, and to use gaming to engage and support students who typically do not see themselves as successful science learners.

The MHS game provides the needed rich and online learning context by engaging students in a narrative about needing to investigate water resources and use scientific argumentation to complete missions critical to the survival and accomplishments of the members of their scientific enterprise. The enterprise is set on an earth-like planet in the future as the science cadets (our player and a set of non-player characters who serve as guides, partners and sometimes antagonists) explore mysteries and prepare for survival on the planet. Along with the narrative game play MHS includes learning progressions for water systems science and scientific argumentation, a visually exciting environment, substantial interaction and feedback, and applies transformational role playing as an approach to integrate learning with game play.

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