Gut Sense: Using Game-Based Learning to Improve STEM Achievement

Gut Sense concept art

Concept art from Gut Sense

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center, in partnership with E-Line Media and an all-star team of game designers and experts in neuroscience, learning, and game publishing, are currently working on utilizing the potential of video games to improve students’ STEM abilities. The aim is to create a video game for children ages 7-11 that improves “number sense,” or a person’s innate ability for number estimation. Gut Sense team member Dr. Justin Halberda has found that number sense is linked with high math achievement, and Drs. Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green have found that number sense can be improved through 3-D action gameplay. The video game will apply the mechanics of action video games that help to develop math ability while excluding violent content and infusing fun, age-appropriate elements.

During the deluge of activities involved with such an undertaking, the Center decided to step back and go directly to the users to get a pulse on what was top of mind for parents and children. This summer, together with E-Line, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center pulled together focus groups with parents and children, ages 7-12, from all over New York City. We gauged parent beliefs and attitudes towards video games and tested the concept’s appeal, mechanics, and artwork.

We will keep you abreast of our progress. The team is currently redefining the product in response to the incredible helpful feedback gained from user testing.


Updated September 2013


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