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Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleHemonauts: Initial Implementation of Digital Games to Increase STEM Learning Among Chronically Ill Children
Presenter(s)Sarah Schoemann, Cheryl Cheong, Wilbur Lam, Elaissa Hardy and Elizabeth DiSalvo
SessionInnovation in STEM Games
TimeFriday, October 12, 2:30p-3:30p
LocationMSU Room
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionThis study reports on findings from the first phase of the Hemonauts project, a suite of digital games intended to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) content knowledge in chronically ill children. Chronically ill children are at risk of falling behind in school due to disease implications, and potentially resulting in additional psychological complications and setbacks. Hemonauts seeks to leverages childhood diseases based on the target population's innate interest in anatomy and physiology. We created and tested a suite of game prototypes to engage children in challenges related to Sickle Cell Anemia. Participants were middle school students and pediatric patients with Sickle Cell Anemia. Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia demonstrated high levels of interest-driven engagement with content relevant to their diagnosis. However, at this stage, they did not demonstrate increases in STEM content knowledge and more generally, we found that patients expressed an alarmingly low level of disease literacy.
Top Paper AwardThis paper was selected by the program committee as a Meaningful Play 2018 Top Paper.

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