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12 Serious Games Designed for Use in Grades K-12 Education Win Gold Awards in Annual International Competition
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
Twelve educational games developed for K-12 use have been awarded a Gold Medal for excellence in the 2022 International Serious Play Awards Program.
Gold Medals went to the following: • Lost Recipes has players cook for ghosts from ancient Greek, Chinese, and Maya civilizations who long to pass on the traditional recipes of their favorite dishes. Players must recreate tasty dishes in historically accurate kitchens, using authentic ingredients, utensils, and techniques. The target audience includes families or high-school students looking for educational experiences, cooking fans, history buffs and VR enthusiasts looking for a short, relaxing experience. Lost Recipes was developed by Schell Games of Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
• InvestiDate is a multi-player videogame designed to empower Black teen girls ages 14-18 to make healthy decisions around dating and safe sex. The specific learning objective is to increase Black teen girls’ knowledge about condoms, HIV and other STIs, destigmatize HIV and STI testing, and increase self- and partner-HIV and STI testing. InvestiDate was created by play4REAL XR Lab at the Yale School of Medicine in partnership with the development company PreviewLabs Inc.
• Cyberchase: Duck Dash Duck Dash is a “born-accessible” game designed for 6-8-year-old kids, featuring characters from the PBS KIDS math and environmental adventure series, Cyberchase. Players explore the math and science concepts through a fun, action-packed interactive adventure. Duck Dash was produced by WNET, New York’s flagship PBS station and public media producer in partnership with the PBS KIDS. Relish, an award-winning digital content developer, served as the game developers. Bridge Multimedia, a New York City-based social enterprise dedicated to advancing all facets of universal access for educational, entertainment, corporate and governmental applications, served as accessibility advisors and conducted formative testing with children with different disabilities. The lead environmental advisor was Bora Simmons, PhD, founding director of the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education and a leader in environmental education research, evaluation, and professional development. The lead math advisor was Bob Krech, M.Ed., award-winning author and educator.
• Math Makers uses gaming to change school-aged children’s intuitions about difficult concepts like place value, fractions, addition, subtraction, equality, and more. Math Makers was developed by Ululab inc in collaboration with Stephane Cyr, professor in the mathematics department of UQAM (University of Quebec in Montreal).
• iThrive Sim: Lives in Balance is an interactive role-playing simulation that invites students to step into the shoes of government officials tasked with making tough decisions in response to a fictional pandemic. As students play the 35-minute technology-supported experience, they evaluate data and lean into social and emotional skills like collaborating, advocating for their points of view and constituents, and compromising with each other to find a balance between health and economic security during uncertain times. Lives in Balance enlivens civic learning through student-led connection, improvisation, and embedded opportunities to grow 21st-century competencies. iThrive Sim was created and designed by iThrive Games Foundation, and developed by Affordance Studio located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
• Pictoword School is the next evolution of Pictoword a 2019 Serious Play Award winner. It was funded by the US Department of Education. Pictoword School is an app that supports the vocabulary development of K-6 English Learners through engaging word puzzles, game-based learning, student-adaptive personalization, and tailored educational content. Pictoword School was developed by Kooapps of Seattle, Washington.
• PlaySmart addresses mental health and opioid misuse amongst older adolescents (ages 16-19). The purpose of the game is to increase the perception of risk of harm of opioid misuse in older adolescents and enhance their critical social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies through interactions in the videogame platform. PlaySmart was created by play2PREVENT Lab in collaboration with Schell Games and in partnership with the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA) and FCD Prevention Solutions (Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation). PlaySmart is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative.
• The Legend of the Lost Emerald • provides learners in grades 4-6 the experience of using the same tools, practices, and skills that maritime archaeologists use to locate and dive for shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and uncover the real treasure—the stories inspired by actual shipwrecks and Great Lakes history. English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Great Lakes Literacy skills and standards are supported through game play and extension activities. This game is available in English and Spanish. The game was designed by Field Day Lab, PBS Wisconsin Education, Wisconsin Sea Grant, and an educator advisory group of Wisconsin teachers.
• Monsters vs Fractions Episode 4: is part of a series of educational web-based video games for grades 3-5. It is based on Common Core standards. Designed with pedagogical structures and methods, the games combine elements of video games, episodic TV shows, and animated films. This series focuses on fractions, one of the toughest subjects for 3rd–5th graders. In Haunted Havoc, players wander around a haunted lab unlocking doors and looking for a zombified genius. The door puzzles involve converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. Monsters vs Fractions is created by Smart Technologies of Calgary, AB, Canada.
• Walden, a game EDU adapts the widely acclaimed experimental game based on Thoreau’s Transcendentalist masterpiece as a set of five games-based learning modules with integrated standards-based curriculum for high school students in ELA, Social Studies, Social and Emotional Learning, History, Civics, and Environmental Science. Walden, a game was developed by the USC Game Innovation Lab and funded by NEH Digital Projects for the Public.
• Enhancing Engagement and Conceptual Understanding of Fractions with Dream2B incorporates the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to maximize accessibility and engagement for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade elementary school students by providing conceptual understanding challenges rooted in authentic STEM and ICT careers. Jessica Hunt of North Carolina State University developed the game in collaboration with TJEEI Game Studio, Drs. Matthew Marino and Michelle Taub of the University of Central Florida, and support from the National Science Foundation (US).
• Imagine Earth is a comprehensive climate simulation visualizing the melting of the polar ice caps in the event of an increase in CO² emissions. Players learn about renewable and fossil energy sources, their individual characteristics, and environmental impacts. Imagine Earth was developed by Serious Bros. of Germany. [https://NEED%20LINK]• The History of Science, created by Ismael Chavez-Hernandez, a 5th grade student in the Orange County Public School System, Orlando, FL, transports players back in time in a green cube where they encounter three historical scientists. In order to get back, the players must complete three different levels. Ismael designed, coded and made the game himself.
Silver Medals went to the following: • Applaydu is a free edutainment mobile Augmented Reality (AR) app launched in a hundred countries in six different languages. The app was developed to be played by all family members. It encourages bonding moments where parents and children can play and learn together and intended for children aged from three to nine years old. Applaydu was developed by Gameloft for brands for Ferrero in partnership with Oxford University. Certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program (www.kidsafeseal.com). Developed for Ferrero. Members of the Gameloft creative team include, Thierry Lecat, Cedric Ratajczak, Christophe Tuan Cheron, Laurent Le, Leandro Banak, Dinh Dong Khoa and Baptiste Tauzin.
• ATHEMOS the Game is a videogame and real-world intervention package designed to help middle school students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve their organization, scheduling, and note taking skills. ATHEMOS is the first ADHD game paired with a school-based intervention to aid transfer. Steven W. Evans, Ph.D., Co-PI, Professor, Department of Psychology, Ohio University worked with Brandon Schultz of East Carolina University to develop ATHEMOS the Game.
Bronze Medals went to the following: • Wo ist Goldi Sicher surfen im Netz is an educational app is made for children in third to fourth grade in elementary school with ages ranging from 8-10 years. The app raises awareness regarding the dynamics of social media, the use of personal data and overall “digital literacy in a playful way without vilifying digital media or devices. Wo ist Goldi? was developed on behalf of the Bavarian state ministry for digital affairs. The was developed by Wegesrand GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) in cooperation with the JFF – Institute for Media Research and Media Education.
• Monsters vs Fractions Episode 3: Robot Troubles is part of a series of educational web-based video games for grades 3-5. It is based on Common Core standards. Designed with pedagogical structures and methods, the games combine elements of video games, episodic TV shows, and animated films. This series focuses on fractions, one of the toughest subjects for 3rd–5th graders. Robot Troubles engages player creativity by allowing players to construct robots using machines and assembly lines in a wide variety of ways. They learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions as they create their robots. Monsters vs Fractions is created by Smart Technologies of Calgary, AB, Canada.
• Legends of Europe is a game that invites players to discover Europe and to broaden their knowledge on themes including geography, history, legends, traditions, folklore, art, languages, flags, famous Europeans, and the history of European construction. This educational game is designed for ages 15 to 29. Legends of Europe is published by Succubus Interactive (France) for the Regional Council of Brittany (France) and supported by the European Union (European Regional Development fund).
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