About the Project
September 2012 - May 2014
With support from:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
As a Research Assistant at the MIT Education Arcade, I had a chance to be a part of the team building The Radix Endeavor, an online, massively multiplayer video game designed to develop science and math skills (STEM) in high school kids. Radix works in tandem with the regular high school curriculum, providing students with a “testing ground” where they can experiment with the concepts they learn in class by applying them to problems that happen in the game world. The project was developed with funding from the Gates Foundation.
The design methodology of Radix is especially interesting because it doesn’t try to become a teacher substitute or a standalone learning experience. It was designed in collaboration with high school teachers who provided constant feedback as to how kids usually related to the science and math curriculum, and it is intended to support said curriculum.
The game world allows students to experiment in ways that might be otherwise inaccessible in the real world; at the same time, because events in the game are tied together by an overarching narrative, the concepts they apply become instantiated and meaningful as they help unfold the events that take place in the game world. Furthermore, by designing a social gameplay experience, students are encouraged to collaborate on quests, share information and learn from each other to move forward in the game, interacting directly with other people from their own class. By doing this, Radix becomes less about learning specific content — a lot of the basic, mechanical operations are even translated into simple in-game tools - and more about developing thought processes and understanding the logic of operating like a scientist.
I had a chance to do a lot of things in the Radix project — quest and game mechanics prototyping, storyline and script development, trailer and video editing (including the video embedded above, as well as others) and ultimately building out an online repository of teacher resources to help educators integrate the tool into their curriculum.