The National Science Foundation is giving a $500,000 grant to researchers at the University of Kansas to work with a gaming company designing and researching video games to help all students, including learners who struggle and those with disabilities in science.
KU’s Center for Research on Learning and Filament Games of Madison, Wis., will work on the project for two years, the university said in a news release. James Basham, assistant professor in special education, is the principal investigator, and Sean Smith, associate professor in special education, is the co-principal investigator. The project will design games based in the physical sciences and test their effectiveness with late elementary and middle school students of all abilities in school districts throughout the country.
The researchers are basing the work on a previous project that showed games were effective in supporting learning in the life sciences. The previous research showed that not only did students who scored highly in the games do well in traditional testing, but also struggling learners took well to the games, and even played them outside of class time.