ACADEMICS DEVELOP A VIDEO GAME THAT TEACHES AND ENTERTAINS
KATION VS THE G7 IS A SERIES OF THREE GAMES FOR MOBILE DEVICES THAT CAN BE DOWNLOADED FOR FREE FROM GOOGLE PLAY AND APP STORE.
June 05, 2017
How animals feed in different geographic zones or learning about the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption are some of the subjects that can be learned with this application developed in the Maule Region and financed by Conicyt’s Explora program. Kation is an adventurer who travels the universe in search of knowledge. In one of his voyages to the planet Cerebronia he meets Queen Neuronilla who entrusts him with a mission to save the planet. In this adventure you will need to use the principles of thermodynamics to defend against Fluorona and the G7.
This is one of the stories of the videogame Kation vs. The G7, a three-game series for mobile devices developed by scientists of our university, with funding from the Explora program from Conicyt, through the 2015-2016 Valuation and Dissemination of Science and Technology Contest. These games use casual learning to bring contents of Physics, Chemistry and Biology for school children in primary and secondary schools.
"We seek to support the learning of the natural sciences in a fun way and encourage children and young people to learn science by playing," explained Maria del Pilar Caramantin, academic and Director of the project.
The series begin with "Termonidamix" which teaches about the states of matter: solid, liquid and gas, and shows how to change the interactions between water molecules to increase or decrease temperature, experiencing a change of state. In "Animalix" players learn about the food chain and explore the type of feed given to the animals that live in the north, south, and in Antarctic.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Finally, in "Antioxix" it is possible to know the benefits of the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which deliver organic molecules with antioxidant properties at the cellular level, trapping free radicals that cause aging of the cells of the human body.
"If we want citizens to take charge of the benefits of science and technology by incorporating them into their daily life, one of the key steps is to connect this knowledge with the everyday world of the new generations. This is why it is so important to promote initiatives such as this, which provides scientific contents in a playful way and uses the mobile devices that boys, girls, and young people have in their hands every day," said Natalia Mackenzie, director of the Conicyt’s Explora program.
The design of the video game is based on an Aesthetics close to children, with recognizable characters, which allows an intuitive interaction with players, as the students declared.
Students of the Colegio Integrado de Talca High School, where the game was released, were enthusiastic about the educational tool: "I learned a lot about food and I loved the little monkeys", said Paz Salinas, from fifth grade. “I liked the game because it invites us not to eat junk food and teaches us things about Nature," said Sofia Muñoz.
An Addition to the Curriculum
The contents seek to be a complement to the curriculum of units that are developed in the Natural Sciences, making this application in an affective tool to explain contents which can be complex: "Video games, as learning tools, are of vital importance, because the student learns in the world where he has fun, the design of the game allows the incorporation of knowledge in their own language," said Rossana Fiorentino, Dean of the Department of Education Sciences.
The project will complement the use of the video game with a game center that will tour the schools in the Region: "We want to bring the technology within the educational contexts, stimulating both students and teachers. We will be training teachers and generating learning guides to support the educational processes," said Zoraya López, the game's scientific advisor and an academic from our University.
The video game is now available to download for free from the catalogs of Google Play and App Store. In addition, at www.kation.cl you can find material to use in the classroom, information about the story and download links.
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