Presented By CyGames
Selene: a lunar construction game

Students Rave About NASA Simulations

Date Posted: Tue Oct 19 2010

As part of an upcoming West Virginia Public Broadcasting feature on the MoonWorld virtual simulation and the Selene videogame, students in a Wheeling, WV, afterschool program experienced both online initiatives and provided positive feedback to NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future researchers.

The 11 upper elementary and middle school students, all girls, from the Ohio County school system Anchor program took part in the lunar simulations to provide footage for the feature, tentatively planned to air in December. Dr. Debbie Denise Reese, senior educational researcher at the Center for Educational Technologies, analyzed the girls' gameplay data from Selene and measured their intensity of engagement (a concept called "flow") and when and how much the girls had learned while playing Selene. The game received high marks in written evaluations from the girls.

One wrote, "I can't believe that's my Moon. Wow! I did all of that!" Another wrote, "I think this is really cool, so when I get home I'm playing this. It's beast!"

Watch 5th and 7th grade Anchor students play Selene.

Reese and center director Chuck Wood treated the production team to a telescope and binocular viewing of the Moon in the late afternoon sky. The public broadcasting feature will describe how playing Selene and MoonWorld prepares young people, their teachers, and their families with knowledge that makes looking at the Moon interesting.

Selene began as a NASA-funded project to study videogame learning and is now funded by the National Science Foundation.

NASA funds MoonWorld, an immersive virtual learning experience realistically based on actual lunar landscapes and NASA concepts for spacesuits, bases, rovers, and life support.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting also created a feature for its public radio outlets during the taping of the upcoming TV segment.