Video games take bigger role in education

Teachers trying to get students interested in molecular biology, world culture, or space exploration now have a new tool, Reuters reports — video games. As more children grow up playing video games, educators are partnering with game developers and scientists to create new interactive experiences for the classroom. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) game developer Escape Hatch Entertainment created "Immune Attack" to plunge 7th through 12th graders into the microscopic world of immune system proteins and cells. The goal of the game is to save a patient suffering from a bacterial infection. Along the way, players gain an understanding of cellular biology and molecular science. The FAS also worked with UCLA’s Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative and the Walters Art Museum to create "Discover Babylon," a game aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds that teaches about the significance of Mesopotamia in world culture using library and museum objects. And on Jan. 18, serious games developer ARA/Virtual Heroes will release a free downloadable prototype game called "MoonBase Alpha," which has been designed in conjunction with NASA engineers and astronauts to teach science, technology, engineering, and math to students across the United States. The game thrusts players 30 years into the future and requires players to team up and use real scientific thinking to overcome challenges that astronauts might one day face…

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