Principal Investigator: James (Jim) Hammerman

Funders: National Science Foundation

MIT Education Arcade, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, will design and develop Vanished, an eight-week environmental science game proposed as a new genre called the curated game, a hybrid of museum-going, social networking, and online gaming. Middle-school aged participants will engage in Earth systems science to study a range of environmental issues associated with mass extinction. Although the game is structured around a fictional scenario—communication with visitors from the future—the game will posit a future scenario affected by current environmental issues and conditions, and will encourage participants to apply systems thinking as a means to understand how these current conditions will lead to potential environmental disruptions. Thus, it will be necessary for participants to study, apply, and integrate knowledge and skills from multiple sources, including Earth science, ecology, chemistry, and paleontology. TERC is conducting the project evaluation.

The National Science Foundation has made this project possible through grant number DRL-0917442.