Advances in digital technology in the past decade have created new opportunities for educating our kids. Add in advances in gaming, what with every other kid owning a souped-up gaming pc and completing their chores so they can get a Steam game card, and you’ve got a merger between two worlds that can work to everyone’s benefit.
PC games that seek to educate have replaced STEM toys in recent years. STEM-based games allow classrooms to engage students more than ever before. While STEM toys may still have their place with younger children, middle school kids can benefit from educational games played on a gaming PC. With plenty of educational titles available, a Steam game card doesn’t seem like such a bad reward.
There are a wide array of companies dedicated to creating educational video games to be used in classrooms. Meadowlark Science and Education specializes in creating and evaluating fun STEM games that simulate authentic research for middle school students. One of their most popular titles being used in schools throughout the country is the STEM-based The Mice of Riddle Place: The Incident of Izzy Ramirez.
The concept of this Steam game is interesting to say the least. Students work to help Izzy solve the mystery of what is causing her asthma. Players embark on a unique adventure to identify the specific causes using tools in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. So not only are they having fun solving a mystery while playing a game, they are given an opportunity to apply the information they’ve studied in a simulated world.
It’s not enough that kids simply read books and pass tests. We need to allow them to apply themselves and get real hands-on experience with what they’ve learned. This practical-based Izzy Ramirez game gives them that chance.
The classroom edition takes about 45 minutes to complete which is a perfect length for students. There is a chapter-based system that allows kids to focus on a particular section, say Science, in order to strengthen that area as needed. The game also comes with a companion guide that teachers and parents can use to engage kids with extra activities related to the game.
You can download The Mice of Riddle Place: The Incident of Izzy Ramirez in the Steam Store with a Steam game card for your PC or in the Mac App Store for your Mac. There’s also an iPad version that you can find on the App Store as well.