UniVRsal Access

Broadening Participation in Informal STEM Learning through Virtual Reality

Lead Staff:
Teon Edwards
Project Staff:
Jamie Larsen
Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki
Jodi Asbell-Clarke

Summary

For UniVRsal Access, EdGE is co-designing a Virtual Reality (VR) STEM mystery game with learners with autism, embedding supports for sensory, attention, and social issues, and researching how VR can be used to increase access and broaden participation in STEM learning.

The VR game, Mission to Europa Prime, will include a variety of learning puzzles, addressing STEM and Computational Thinking through authentic and fun problem-solving tasks. Set on an abandoned science station on the Jovian moon Europa, players will explore and discover as part of a compelling mystery story. A demo prototype of this game has already been developed in collaboration with the Virtual Reality team at MXTreality, which will also be the lead developer on the full game.

EdGE will co-design puzzles and user interfaces with students at Landmark College, a post-secondary institute for learners with autism and other learning differences. And design research, usability, and efficacy studies will be conducted with teens and adults at a variety of informal learning centers, including the Pacific Science Center and Boston Museum of Science, which both serve audiences with autism, along with the general public.

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