Would young people learn science better if it were packaged in a videogame?
That's the question at the heart of the Selene project. Originally funded by NASA and now carried on through a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Selene studies videogame learning and the ways researchers can assess how effectively that learning takes place.
The Center for Educational Technologies® at Wheeling Jesuit University created the Selene online game to see how organizations like NASA could best use videogames to introduce important science concepts.
Named after the Greek lunar goddess, Selene challenges players to learn the major geologic processes scientists believe formed the modern Moon. Players create their own moon and then pepper it with impact craters and flood it with lava. It's a great opportunity for students to learn about lunar geology while helping researchers study some key videogame design principles.
The Center for Educational Technologies produced Selene to conduct its research. If you're a student between the ages of 9-18, they'd love to have you play. The game takes about an hour to complete, but you can spend more time after checking out Selene's various resources about the Moon. To play, though, you have to be enrolled by an adult recruiter to ensure parent/guardian consent for your participation.