The Radix Endeavor
By The Education Arcade
Skills and Ideas Taught: The game covers topics in biology (genetics, ecosystems, evolution and human body systems) and math (algebra, geometry and statistics). In addition to the direct content, there is an emphasis on the practices of math and science including problem solving, carrying out investigations, critical thinking, evidence reasoning, and more. All quests in the game are aligned with either the Common Core State Standards for Math or the Next Generation Science Standards.
Goal or Challenge: Players become immersed in a game narrative where they encounter a villain who does not believe in the practices of math or science. Players have to reason about and solve issues applicable to game characters’ everyday lives, refute unscientific claims of the villain, and make choices based on what they consider to be solid evidence and data. They help characters in the game by solving complex problems using math and biology knowledge, and they do this by selecting tools to apply to the game’s systems. For example, in the genetics questline they discover plants with unique genetic traits and use the trait cross station to breed organisms with the desired phenotype.
Primary Audience: Middle and high school teachers and their students.
Assessment Approach: Questlines represent a progression of increasingly difficult content, and include tasks that range from fairly straightforward to more open-ended and creative. In each quest, players demonstrate their mastery of a concept by using that knowledge to solve a problem or create an artifact in the game. In addition, select questlines have side quests that provide alternate pathways for students who appear to be struggling with certain learning objectives. Data is collected on how many attempts a student makes on a quest and what they are trying. This data informs the side quests that are unlocked and is also visible to the teacher at the student and class levels.
Description: The Radix Endeavor is a multiplayer online game developed by the MIT Education Arcade designed to increase engagement and knowledge in secondary math and biology. Using inquiry and exploration, players build content knowledge and develop skills in problem solving, using models, analyzing data, and communicating information. Players take on roles of mathematicians and scientists and embark on quests that encourage them to investigate and interact with the virtual world through math and science systems. They use a robust set of tools to make their way through 110 quests in 7 topic areas as they experience authentic problem-solving in STEM.
Game Engine: Flash 11.2 or higher
Operating System: Web
Platform: Personal Computer
Special Hardware: None