Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day 32: Who is Martha Madison?

I'm not sure why,  but in high school and college I avoided science classes. As an adult, I'm constantly looking for ways to fill gaps of knowledge caused by those many years "avoiding science".  I'm also always looking for ways to engage students who might not find their way into a math and science class.  This is why I took notice of an inviting poster displaying  Martha Madison in the incubator section of the exhibit hall at FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference).  

Not only did the visual appeal of Martha Madison catch my eye,  the content offered promise that someone like me (with many gaps in their science understanding) might not only gain better understanding of science, but I might actually have fun doing it.   What do you think?  Does Martha's message to you say "this is serious science made fun?" It did to me.  I'm gearing up to explore the free levels.

But the main reason I chose to include this is post today was to make a point that engaging both girls and boys in science, math, and technology is not easy, but it can be done, and it MUST be done.  And this product caught my attention because they understood the importance of engaging BOTH genders and at first glance, have caught my attention for their ability to speak to both girls and boys.  I'll keep you posted as I explore further.

Here's a press release, I found on the company site that provides a little more info about "Martha Madison".

For Immediate Release
ROCHESTER, NY 10/24/14 —Second Avenue Software, Inc. announced the launch of four physical science games for middle school students,Martha Madison: Simple MachinesMartha Madison: OpticsMartha Madison: Waves, and Martha Madison: Forces. Research studies demonstrate that students are able to effectively learn key concepts through gameplay and enhance interest in STEM careers.   Martha Madisongames provide the perfect backdrop for learning real science, while playing games that rival the quality of entertainment titles. All four games are available for purchase on Edmodo.
Students adventure through Martha’s world, working as scientists to solve authentic problems. All games promote scientific inquiry through exploration of multiple solutions—encouraging students to collaborate and play, try new solutions, and come back for more. Students win through problem-solving, building confidence and interest in STEM during the most formative time academically—middle school.
Games in the Martha Madison series are backed by proven research, best practices in teaching, and innovative game design. All of the games are correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and come with comprehensive instructional materials, allowing teachers to easily integrate the games into instruction that is already happening in the classroom. Robust data dashboards track progress and learning, offering analytics to all stakeholders—students, teachers, families, and administrators. Extension activities and worksheets are also provided for students and families, ideal for home and supplemental instruction.
Martha Madison is supported in part by National Science Foundation Phase I and Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants. Development was conducted under the direction of Second Avenue CEO and Principal Investigator Victoria Van Voorhis and Lead Producer Brian Regan, along with faculty from the School of Interactive Games and Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Our research results are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
 About Second Avenue Learning
 Founded by educators and gamers, Second Avenue Learning provides services to education technology clients such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill and W.W. Norton. Second Avenue builds effective, interactive learning products that are innovative, pedagogically accurate and visually compelling. Second Avenue applies expertise to innovate the learning process, and understands that technology serves as a critical enabler to achieve fully customized learning environments and unlock the potential of all students. It is time to reimagine learning.

For Media:
Jill Broikos
585.419.6530 x118

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