Using Serious STEM Interactive Digital Technology to Understand Agriculture
Improving STEM-focused curriculum is a primary objective of the current US administration and is crucial for ensuring that upcoming generations receive the training and skills necessary to compete in the existing global economy. To that end, there is an urgent need for additional effective teaching tools able to reach a generation that requires instant access to information and advanced technology. Of particular interest to this proposal is the development of a highly interactive, marketable, and effective educational video game that focuses on STEM topics and targets middle school students—the age at which interest in STEM subjects is developed or lost.
The creation of carefully developed and evaluated educational video games is timely and necessary to ensure the promotion of desirable learning principles for middle school students. The long-term goal of our interdisciplinary team is to produce a growing library of educational video games with immersive graphics and audio, challenging gameplay, and a well-rounded delivery of STEM-focused educational content.
Planning and implementation activities based on our specific aims are as follows:
Aim 1: Create an educational video game and teacher lesson plan with significant commercial potential that increases awareness of the science of agriculture, nutrition and implications on human health. Initially, this game will focus on middle school aged children, but expansion capabilities will be built into the game structure. Teachers and students, as a vital component of the development team, will contribute to the design of the game—ensuring that its relevance to the classroom is maximized.
Aim 2: Evaluate the game for effectiveness in the delivery of STEM educational goals, including the increased use of science, technology, engineering and math in agriculture and nutrition. The creation of a highly effective STEM-focused video game that incorporates the Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards will provide teachers with an innovative classroom tool that is engaging to the students, while improving interest in STEM subjects and increasing STEM knowledge.
Public Health Relevance: Improving STEM-focused curriculum is a primary objective of the current US administration and is crucial for ensuring upcoming generations receive the training and skills necessary to compete in the existing global economy. The creation of a highly effective and marketable STEM-focused video game aimed at middle school students will provide teachers with an innovative classroom tool that is engaging to the students, while improving interest and knowledge in STEM subjects, agriculture, nutrition and human health impacts.
Middle school teachers and their students
STEM, agriculture, nutrition, health, science, game-play