For Immediate Release
Twelve Serious Games Designed for use in K-12 Education Win Awards
in Annual International Competition
Toronto — October 11, 2023 — Twelve educational games developed for use in K-12 schools have been cited for excellence in the 2023 International Serious Play Awards Program.
Gold Medals went to the following:
Pengeby (UK: Moneyville) – Danske Bank’s Pengeby is a free educational game for preschoolers and 6-9-year-olds, offering an interactive learning experience in math, sustainability, and financial literacy. Children explore a vibrant universe to understand money, finances, and the importance of investing in a sustainable community. With over 3 million plays in two years, Pengeby empowers young learners while promoting delayed gratification and informed decision-making.
ANWB ‘Streetwise‘ – The ANWB Streetwise app is a free mobile game designed to educate children aged 8-12 about road safety in a fun and engaging way, addressing the importance of early road safety education. By blending real-life traffic scenarios with storytelling and play, the game provides a safe environment for kids to practice traffic situations while involving parents in their learning process. With various traffic-themed challenges and the need for teamwork with parents, the game encourages practical learning and reinforces road safety knowledge. Created by &ranj and &samhoud creative tech for ANWB, this mobile game aims to make traffic education enjoyable and collaborative for both children and parents, aligning with ANWB’s goal of achieving zero road casualties by 2050.
Venture Valley Game – Venture Valley, a free business simulation game designed for students in grades 6-12, offers a risk-free environment for budding entrepreneurs to learn financial and business basics. Combining competitive multiplayer play with a single-player campaign of 35 missions, it provides a fun and engaging way for students to practice business skills and entrepreneurial strategies. Testimonials from players highlight its complexity and value in teaching business start-ups, marketing, sales, and financial management.
Headlines and High Waters – (Field Day at University of Wisconsin – Madison) - Designed for middle school students (grades 6-9), this journalism game immerses players in the world of reporting as they navigate the chaos of a catastrophic flood during the annual Cherry Festival in Twin Lakes. By making key decisions, players learn about journalism practices and ecosystem science principles while juggling deadlines, politics, and gathering information to keep their editor and readers satisfied. The branching narrative encourages students to prioritize various skills as they pursue their stories, providing a unique learning experience.
Mission US: No Turning Back – Mission US, developed in collaboration with The WNET Group, American Social History Project, Electric Funstuff, and Education Development Center, offers a unique educational experience designed to engage middle school students in American history. Focusing on the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the latest installment, Mission US: No Turning Back, immerses players in the challenges of de jure segregation and voter intimidation in the South. Through interactive tasks, historical encounters, and choices that shape the narrative, students gain an experiential understanding of this pivotal era, fostering a deeper connection to the past and its relevance in today’s world.
Math Ascension – Math Ascension, produced by Pestorosso Games, is an engaging educational video game designed to combat math anxiety among students aged 7-13. Featuring Mathilda, a young girl on a mission to reclaim her humanity through quick-fire multiplication battles, the game offers a visually intuitive way to learn math using blocks for mathematical operations. With adaptive difficulty levels, customizable gameplay, and the goal of instilling confidence in math skills, Math Ascension aims to address the anxiety that affects 60% of school pupils and empowers children to embrace mathematics in a fun and interactive way.
Silver Medals went to the following:
WaterWays – is an immersive environmental science program designed for students in grades 3-5, aiming to foster environmental stewardship and awareness. Through interactive modules, students investigate pressing issues like plastic pollution, air quality, and marine biodiversity, connecting human and environmental health. The program combines digital science journals with augmented reality experiences, encouraging students to explore, gather data, and create pledges or posters to address these challenges, helping cultivate a new generation of informed and passionate environmental stewards.
VAST Journey – The VAST Journey app aims to help users overcome real-world challenges by breaking them down into manageable steps and fostering personal growth in a playful way. Initially targeting high school and college students, the app provides a list of 120 challenge options and offers unique quests with obstacles and power-ups to address each challenge. Users receive daily opportunities and guidance through various features, including a virtual journal, media recommendations, and priority organization. The app’s mission is to empower users to become the best version of themselves, with expansion plans to cater to various demographics and support from mentors like teachers and counselors.
Wake: Tales from the Aqualab – (Field Day at University of Wisconsin – Madison) - Wake: Tales from the Aqualab, designed for 6th-9th graders, immerses students in the world of ocean ecosystems as junior scientists. Through engaging missions and research challenges, players gradually tackle more complex scientific tasks at their own pace. Developed in collaboration with educators and researchers from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, this game fosters science learning practices, encouraging students to think critically and explore diverse life science concepts.
Cyber Fashion Challenge – The Cyber Fashion Challenge, developed by The WNET Group, FableVision, and Bridge Multimedia in collaboration with PBS KIDS, offers an inclusive gaming experience for kids aged 6-8. Through the world of sustainable fashion and upcycling, players explore math concepts like geometry and counting while creating stylish designs. Designed with universal accessibility in mind, this game ensures children of all abilities, including those with disabilities such as blindness, deafness, or cognitive impairments, can enjoy and learn from the experience.
Blood Sugar Balance – Blood Sugar Balance, a web-based game developed by Genome Sciences Education Outreach in collaboration with Blank Space, offers an engaging educational experience focusing on glucose metabolism and its role in type 2 diabetes. Players, primarily targeted at high school-age learners but suitable for various age groups, aim to maintain healthy blood sugar levels through food choices, exercise, and managing pancreas hormones (insulin and glucagon) in a fast-paced video game. By adjusting settings for access to resources and diabetic status, players explore the intricate interplay between personal choices, biology, and environmental factors, fostering a deeper understanding of diabetes and its increasing prevalence.
Bronze Medal went to the following:
Microscopya – Microscopya is a captivating adventure and puzzle game designed to take players on an educational journey inside the cell, fostering an excitement for science and promoting STEM careers. The game features a strong female protagonist and character customization to empower young women and challenge gender stereotypes in STEM fields. It offers an immersive learning experience, using artistic imagery and visual metaphors to convey complex scientific concepts and create positive associations with scientific learning, targeting middle school students while remaining enjoyable for all age groups and gender identities.
Serious Play Conference brings together professionals who are exploring the use of game-based learning, sharing their experience, and working together to shape the future of training and education. For more information on Serious Play Award Program, go to: https://www.seriousplayconf.com/international-serious-play-award-programs/
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