National Science Foundation Press Release Highlights EdGE@TERC Project and International Finland–U.S. Research Collaboration

February 28, 2013



CAMBRIDGE, MA– The Educational Gaming Environments group (EdGE)@TERC’s latest research endeavor was spotlighted in a National Science Foundation press release issued on February 25th. FUN: A Finland-U.S. Network for Engagement and STEM Learning in Games—a collaborative effort between EdGE@TERC, WGBH, Northern Illinois University and Finland’s University of Tampere and University of Aalto—was one of eight international Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) projects making up the international research collaboration profiled in the release.

Coordinated by Eric Hamilton at Pepperdine University on the U.S. side and Jari Multisilta of Helsinki University on the Finnish side, the “Innovations in Learning and Education” collaboration encompasses eight different-yet-complementary STEM research projects, each with U.S. and Finnish team members and funding from NSF, Tekes (the Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation) and the Academy of Finland. The projects together represent a combined U.S.-Finnish investment of about $4 million in grant awards under the Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) effort.

FUN: A Finland-U.S. Network for Engagement and STEM Learning in Games is blending methods and test beds from both countries to get a broader picture of how engagement and learning are entwined in the growing field of game-based learning. Individually, EdGE@TERC, WGBH, Northern Illinois University, the University of Tampere and the University of Aalto have developed research-backed games grounded in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics, for audiences pre-K through postsecondary/undergraduate. Each team in this consortium is examining engagement in game-based learning with varied yet complementary methodologies—including surveys, video analysis techniques, experience sampling methods, and educational data mining—and teams will also be conducting cross-studies to look for similarities and differences arising in differing cultures and gaming environments. This research begins in spring 2013 with large national surveys of youth ages 14-18 in both countries to examine the relationships among game experience, gamer identity, science identity, and understanding of the nature of science.