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Paper Presentation to Highlight NASA Videogame Research

Tue Dec 2 2008

A research paper based on the Selene videogame developed at the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future will be presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) international conference to be held March 2-6 in Charleston, SC.

The paper is titled "Enhancing Science Education through Instructional Games that Prepare Student for Knowledge Acquisition." Authors are Dr. Beverly Carter, assistant professor at Wheeling Jesuit University; Laura Wilbanks, a Texas teacher whose students have participated in the Selene research project; and Dr. Debbie Denise Reese, senior educational researcher and principal investigator of the CyGaMEs Selene project at the Center for Educational Technologies.

The paper reviews how videogames like Selene, which was created to study how NASA science can be delivered in a gaming environment, can help students better learn science. The authors describe how Selene gameplay supports players' knowledge growth about fundamental processes: volcanism, impact cratering, differentiation, and accretion. More importantly, they demonstrate, from a teacher's perspective, how to integrate a CyGaME like Selene within a science curriculum while supporting national and state standards.

Selene gameplay builds prior knowledge, preparing players to make meaningful inferences about the features they observe on the surface of the Moon and the Earth, Moon, sun system.