Penn GSE Professor Explores Technology and Learning in "Worlds of Wonder: Can Video Games Teach Science?"

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820February 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — A professor from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and researcher in education technology, Yasmin Kafai, has organized a discussion panel, “Worlds of Wonder: Can Video Games Teach Science?” at the American Association for Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in San Diego on Feb. 21.

From Whyville to Second Life, Kafai argues that the countless hours children spend playing games can also be used to teach science.

“Virtual worlds provide unprecedented opportunities to experience and examine science in new ways. Imagine participating in the outbreak of a virtual epidemic with hundreds of thousands of other players,” Kafai said. “You can observe and investigate what happens in online communities –- just like real epidemiologists do.”

Under the banner “Bridging Science and Society,” researchers at the AAAS gathering will discuss their findings in the context of global challenges in the environment, economy, health and education.