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Thursday, August 18 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Telescope to Tablet: Using Real-World Data to Design an Astronomy Game

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Introductory astronomy courses at the collegiate level are popular courses taken by non-science majors often seeking to fulfill a distribution requirement. The typical ASTR 101 student is not looking for a mathematically rigorous introduction to the discipline, but is keenly interested in black holes and constellations. Student expectations are often at odds with those of their professor who wants to introduce them to the incredible insights we have gained about the universe. Professors face the challenge of communicating quantitatively laden subject matter in a manner that does not threaten non-scientists. At Play in the Cosmos is an educational game designed to engage non-science majors by piquing their interest in our modern understanding of the Solar System, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. In this paper, we outline the way the game design is used to teach fundamental astronomical concepts and the process of science by incorporating real scientific data. We provide a detailed account of how the development team used player feedback to enhance the game’s design and conclude with an overview of the game’s features from storyboard to final product.

avatar for Mike Beall

Mike Beall

Project Leader, Learning Games Network
I am a Game Designer, Project Leader, and Artist working with the Learning Games Network and Games Learning Society. In addition to direct involvement with design and development of many GLS/LGN games, I also work with local schools and community centers where I engage with University... Read More →

Jennifer Dalsen

Madison, WI, United States, University of Wisconsin - Madison
I am a doctoral student in the Curriculum & Instruction Department at UW-Madison. My research focuses on: digital access and looking at how students with disabilities learn through technological supports. I am an active collaborator with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Squire

Kurt Squire

Co-Director, Games+Learning+Society Center
Kurt Squire is a Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and Co-Director of the Games+Learning+Society Center in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Squire is the author or editor of three books, and over 75 scholarly publications on learning with... Read More →

Thursday August 18, 2016 11:30am - 12:30pm CDT
Landmark Union South

Attendees (6)