Category Archives: Science/Health Games

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2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge

Level up from video game player to video game designer!

Inspired by President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge taps into middle and high school students’ passion for playing video games and motivates them to work as individuals or in teams to design and make original, playable games or written game design documents about any subject. Registration is now open and submissions are due by August 15, 2016.

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New this Year: Nat Geo Explore!

National Geographic is bringing the spirit of exploration to video gaming and sponsoring a new prize stream called Nat Geo Explore. This prize is open to any eligible design document or playable game submission that thematically expresses the spirit of exploration and adventure. Winners will have their games and game design documents featured on the National Geographic Education website, which reaches more than 1 million visitors a month, and also will receive additional National Geographic merchandise.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge.

Source: The National STEM Video Game Challenge

Medical Mysteries on the Web

This web-based game from Rice University was submitted by Lynn Lauterbach. The game is available at medmyst.rice.edu.

Subject Area and Learning Outcomes
Life Science Middle Level: Pathogens, Immune System, Disease, Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoan, Zoonotic Diseases, Scientific Method, STEM careers

Summary
(1-2 players) MedMyst Original has five different mission options. It is generally geared for teaching about infectious disease, pathogens, and the immune response. Mission 1 is an orientation or general introduction, Mission 2 is based on a bacterial disease, cholera, Mission 3 is a viral disease in the pox family, Mission 4 is a protozoan disease dealing with malaria. Mission 5 is a combination of things and is built around zoonotic (animal borne) illnesses. MedMyst Reloaded has STEM career connections and scientific method modeling. Games are built in to the program as reinforcement and review of content.

Setup
There are teacher materials, vocabulary, and activites included.

Rules of Play
Self-guided. Winning is not the object as much as completion.

Sample Turn
The student is engaged in the text through a story line that is set in the future. They move through the program solving, learning, and reviewing materials dealing with Life Science concepts.

How this game works in class
I prefer to have students work individually although they can work in pairs. I like to put headphones on the students so the background music and other noises are what they hear. They work through at their own pace. I sometimes have them show accountability with some of the items under the teacher materials pages.

Post-Game Discussion/Assessment
The teacher materials pages have activities and assessments included. The vocabulary pages guide students learning new words and their meanings.