Iridescent, a non-profit dedicated to science and technology education, today announced The Fluid Ether, the first game in a series of science applications for middle-school students called Ethers. Designed to engage students in learning about intangible systems in the natural world, the Ethers apps will include six games: Fluids, Gravity, Momentum, Projectiles, Light and Electricit
Deeper learning through challenge levels: Open-ended levels are punctuated with directed gameplay, which causes students to reflect on their learning, and tests student understanding. The game also features challenge levels to test student knowledge. These levels will present one objective in a highly constrained format, directing the student’s attention to features they may have taken for granted, and testing their understanding of those features. For example, in the “density” challenge level, students learn that balls of greater density have more inertia and take longer to accelerate.
Co-creation through level editors: Students are encouraged to customize the game and add new challenges through the level editor. When students upload custom levels, the game requires them to provide explanations of the physics concepts used in their level, and how those concepts are incorporated. Teachers will also be able to assign level-creation as a class project. A student-created level with an accompanying written or oral presentation will serve the same purpose in a science classroom that an essay serves in a reading classroom – as a demonstration of understanding and synthesis of the topic.
Sharing – Students can publish content to the game and share with other kids.
Data for teachers – Data is collected to measure student learning and made available to teachers through an accompanying teacher dashboard (free).