Monday, April 11, 2011

Can playing games increase elementary science scores?

According to teachers and administrators across the State of Florida, Science Boot Camp, a series of curruiculum based science games are dramatically improving science scores in their elementary school classrooms and on state standardized tests. According to one science teacher at Coral Reef Montessori in Cutler, Fl, "...the thing we find most extraordinary about Science Boot Camp is the layering of instruction... the program reaches the student by utilizing every angle so that no matter what the students's level or learning style, they end up not only learning science, but having fun with it too.." Indeed, students are playing games and learning science. One of the Boot Camp games, "Speed Bag" is a game that uses simple illustrations of science concepts like photosenthesis which the students compete with one another to see who can draw the science concept in 30 seconds or less. Science Boot Camp developers call this part of the game, "building the frame of reference". By combining the frame of reference built through repeated quick drawing of the concept along with content constructed multiple choice questions and a written explanation tool, the students learn the concept and retain it longer because they had fun doing it. The Science Boot Camp Games are fast becoming recognized as the most effective way to increase elementary science aptitude. Just ask schools like Phyliss R. Miller in Miami Shores which nearly tripled science test scores from 17% to 43% in its first year of using the Boot Camp games. Other schools like Henry S. Reeves Elementary, Three Points Elementary (Orlando,FL) , Poicianna Park Elementary (Miami) are just a few of the schools that are witnessing phenomenal results in science aptitude as a result of utilizing the Science Boot Camp Games. Given the latest news that US students rank 23 in science proficiency, the growing consensus is that our coventional (traditional) teaching methods are simply not working and that America's educational system needs to find new and innovative ways to improve our classroom approach. Science Boot Camp is proving to be a step in that direction.

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