Principal Investigator: Jodi Asbell-Clarke

Funders: National Science Foundation


EdGE (the Educational Gaming Environments group) @TERC has been awarded a targeted-research grant from NSDL to study the feasibility of creating a 'serious games' pathway for digital STEM resources. EdGE is designing a prototype transmedia game called "Canaries in a Coalmine" that uses mobile handhelds with augmented reality, web-based social networking, and massively-multiplayer online environments to engage citizen scientists in environmental inquiry.

"Canaries in a Coalmine" prompts users (ages 15+) to respond to a plea for help from the future. A mysterious figure has sent back messages that suggest a dark environmental future and point toward birds as the key—can players heed the call and help save Earth from what is apparently impending environmental disaster? Players must decipher messages; make sense of what they may or may not mean; and respond to present-day challenges related to understanding birds and their importance as indicators of environmental health. To do this, players collaborate through social networking tools and on the game website; observe and take action in the real world; and use online digital resources. Canaries begins in early summer 2011.

The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) is a partner for this project.