Over the past decade, the number of available workers with strong STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) has not kept pace with the demand from the U.S. labor market. Why the growing chasm? Studies suggest that teens lose interest in these critical topics by the tenth grade. Teachers have been facing an uphill struggle trying to compete for mindshare amidst the myriad of student activities and distractions. But teachers can use student interests from outside the classroom in their studies by changing the content delivery mechanism from traditional in-class learning to one which taps into teen passions, specifically video games and sports.
Introducing a hybrid video game and online STEM education program created by The Game Agency, in partnership with the nation’s leading education technology company. Over the course of a simulated hockey season, students in grades five through seven manage their hockey team and apply math and science principles in pursuit of the championship trophy.
By utilizing the exciting, fast-paced game of hockey, educators can bring real world applications for math and science directly into the classroom. In addition to being a highly spirited and competitive game, hockey is also a sport that naturally lends itself to scientific principles. In the game, students learn and then immediately apply twelve STEM concepts such as calculating average skating speed, determining passing angles, and measuring friction. The game encourages experimentation through play and hone problem solving skills that parallel the scientific process.
Overall, the mission of teaching STEM skills through hockey is to show students that science exists all around them and how learning these skills can be applied to everyday life. High resolution graphics, captivating animations, and challenging game mechanics may draw them in, but classroom coaches (aka, teachers) are also supported with real-time student score reports and supplemental, offline lesson plans.
Since its launch in September 2014, this game has reached more than 375,000 students in 3,500 schools across the United States and Canada. The game is on target to be played by over one million students within three years.
Students are not the only ones excited for the game; educators are getting just as excited:
“Fantastic detail and use of graphics! The concepts are presented in such a way that illustrates how those concepts play out in real life perfectly. A perfect mix of gameplay and content. It feels more like a video game and grabs onto lower and higher level thinkers alike.”