NSF Project Overview
Simulation and Modeling in Technology Education (SMTE)
SMTE was a six-year project that developed and researched the academic potential of a hybrid instructional model that infuses physical modeling and educational gaming into middle school technology education programs. It developed prototypical materials for 3D educational gaming to support students learning STEM content and skills through developing solutions to design challenges. The game-based learning mode allows students to analyze and improve their designs by changing variables and observing how their changes affect design performance. Once the designs are optimized in-game, students then construct physical models and compare their functionality and effectiveness to the virtual models. A uniqueness of the project is the development of a digital game-based learning enterprise architecture.
The research investigates the transferability of the model and its potential to improve STEM teaching and learning.
The project incorporates a virtual engineering design approach that integrates science and mathematics and uses contemporary technological tools and pedagogical strategies. The content is driven by the concepts and skills identified in the K-12 Standards for Technological Literacy (STL).
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