Following discussions we held earlier this year with the Education Department NUI Maynooth we developed a new initiative in collaboration with Angela Rickard, who lectures on Ed Tech in that department. Angela wanted to introduce her students to creative, alternative ways to teach and learn science and to integrate development education themes into the Science Education undergraduate program. Working together we developed a project entitled NOW: Navigating Other Worlds (for which Angela was awarded a Teaching Fellowship from the university). The project used the MissionV platform where students working in teams created a number of resources based on the Junior Cycle Science syllabus. Meanwhile we also linked in with the Young Scientist Tanzania project (going on in Tanzanian schools through the work of the CDPC in Maynooth).
The NOW project offered a route into Game-based Learning for BScEd students that links it with students overseas and added a particularly interesting dimension that valued the voices from the African schools and disseminated the really interesting work they’re doing. A delegation of Tanzania students and teachers will visit Maynooth in January when as part of the prize for winning YST they will exhibit their project (including a MissionV 3d representation of it) at the BT Young Scientis exhibition in the RDS.
Naturally we were delighted to participate and over the last few weeks Angela’s students have been developing really wonderful learning resources on MissionV. Nine (three member) teams each took a different approach and the Probability Playground is just one example of their amazing work -
It’s great to hear the students comment at the end that their work has given them a more positive outlook on game based learning.