Simulation and Modeling in Technology Education (SMTE) was a six-year NSF project conducted by Hofstra University, Bloomsburg University, and the City University of New York that developed and researched the academic potential of a hybrid instructional model that infused physical modeling and game-based learning into middle school technology education programs.

It developed prototypical materials to support students learning STEM content and skills through developing solutions to design challenges.

SMTE Introduction

SMTE Overview Video

Watch this four minute overview

The game-based learning mode allowed students to analyze and improve their designs by changing variables and observing how their changes affect design performance. Once the designs were optimized in-game, students then constructed physical models and compared their functionality and effectiveness to the virtual models. A uniqueness of the project was the development of a digital game-based learning enterprise architecture.

The project incorporated a virtual engineering design approach that integrated science and mathematics and used contemporary technological tools and pedagogical strategies. The content was driven by the concepts and skills identified in the K-12 Standards for Technological Literacy (STL).

The SMTE project researched the academic potential and the transferability of the model and its potential to improve STEM teaching and learning through a test of two conditions:

Condition 1: teachers and students implement the Survival Master computer game (approximately 4 weeks) AND then construct a physical model (approximately one week); or,

Condition 2: teachers and students implement the physical curriculum (approximately 4 weeks) AND then engage in the game-based multiplayer design challenge (approximately one week).

Testing involved data collected in six assessment domains. Data was analyzed using a variety of multivariate statistical analyses.

Use the "SURVIVAL MASTER" button in the menu to the left to explore how the team from Course Games developed the Survival Master Game for STEM learning.

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