CGS on the Go!

cgsIt’s spring, which means we’re taking time away from our computers (briefly) to head to various events around the region!

Catch CGS developers at the following events:

April 22: Bennett Elementary Science Night (Bellevue) – come talk to us about Foldit, Nanocrafter, Center for Game Science projects, and most importantly our upcoming K-12 Story Problem Challenge starting April 27.

April 24 and 25: We’re so excited to be participating in Engineering Discovery Days, so look for us in the CSE building atrium. Stop by both days and grab an “I love Algebra” sticker, play our games, and ask us all the questions on your mind about blending together quality gaming and academics.

May 9: A few brave developers and Foldit team members are headed north to the Shoreline STEM festival.

We can’t wait to meet all of you!

Can Washington Schools Solve Over 250,000 Story Problems In One Week?


For immediate release:

The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington is pleased to invite all K-12 classrooms around Washington state to participate in this year’s “K-12 Story Problem Challenge”, a story-problem-based Algebra Challenge. During the week of April 27 – May 1, participating K-12 classrooms will be challenged to solve over 250,000 story problems collectively by playing new math learning game Riddle Books, which teaches Common Core-aligned pre-algebra concepts via story problems in a friendly game-based environment. All grades and all levels are invited to participate – the challenge is designed to enable any learner to solve story problems at their grade level and beyond. In the K-12 Story Problem Challenge, “If you can read it, you can solve it!” Signups are currently available for classrooms by visiting our site.

Participation is completely free, and the game will work on any recent web browser. Any class with access to a PC, Mac, or Chromebook can join the challenge.

Riddle Books, created by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, presents story problems with fun fantasy-based themes. It aims to develop learners’ understanding of Common Core concepts with a focus on developing conceptual understanding through visual models. It uses story problems to gradually introduce the player to the notion of equations. The game starts off with the player manipulating pictures and dealing with relationships they can intuitively understand and enables students to solve story problems regardless of their skill level. The challenge will also feature an innovative, free Teacher Copilot that allows teachers to view real-time student gameplay data and helps to remove key misconceptions at the group and individual level.

“Young students have a great time puzzling through these modeling story problems and turning them into equations,” said Mike Taylor, Center for Game Science Curriculum Development Specialist. “Plus, the unique stories keep them coming back for more.”

The K-12 Story Problem Challenge provides an opportunity to use the state-of-the-art tools from the Center for Game Science, featuring immediate feedback, differentiated learning paths, and active involvement through experiential and discovery learning. The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington is a leader in research-based adaptive learning through games.

Dragon Architect Released

CGSWebSiteDragonArchitectTwo of our graduate students, Aaron Bauer and Eric Butler have created a fun new program called Dragon Architect. Claiming they have found a dragon that only speaks code, they developed Dragon Architect for ages nine and up to let youngsters help this peculiar creature construct wondrous things in a fun 3D building game. Through the use of Dragon Architect, students learn basic programming concepts to solve puzzles and build 3D structures out of cubes. Give it a try today!

CGS Live: See Us This Spring

cgsIt’s almost spring, which means it’s time to gear up for conferences, community events, and visits to the Center for Game Science!

Coming up in March, conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear various members of the Center for Game Science talk in person. On Tuesday, March 10, SXSW Edu attendees can catch Director Zoran Popović presenting Rapid, Radical Changes in Student Concept Mastery in Austin, Texas. For those attendees of the Online Learning Summit 2015 in April, Director Popović will also be speaking there. Also during early March, he will be the opening keynote speaker at L@S (Learning at Scale) March 14-15.

If you’re headed to San Francisco in early March, Community Manager Nova Barlow will be out on the speaking circuit with her sure to be lively panel “Straight Talk About Community Manager Tenure” on March 2nd, during GDC 2015’s brand new Community Manager Summit.

If you’re not headed to a conference this spring (or even if you are), feel free to join UW CSE’s Center for Game Science at Meet an Engineer Night on February 26th. Center for Game Science Ph.D student Aaron Bauer will participate in Meet an Engineer Night at the Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library. The event is part of a month-long program of activities organized by the Seattle Public Library and Pacific Science Center as an extended celebration of National Engineers Week. While the target audience is age 12 and above, everyone is welcome to attend and learn about the exciting field of engineering from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

We look forward to seeing you at these upcoming talks!