At Microsoft, we strive to provide technology solutions and tools to assist businesses and people from all walks of life, especially young people. We do this in a variety of ways. For example, through Northeast General Manager Marty Cassidy, who sits on the advisory board of Children’s Hospital, Microsoft partnered with Generation Cures in Boston, MassBioEd and Fable Vision to create the first “Game for Good Design Camp,” which took place at the hospital in June. Fifteen teacher-student teams from the area received first-hand views of Children’s Hospital labs where research teams try to find cures for cancers and other diseases. Participants worked with designers and developers from Microsoft, the Learning Games Network, MIT, and FableVision to turn what they learned at the hospital into Web games and mobile applications that have design real world applications of biology, chemistry, physics, and math studied by students everyday in school.
At the end of the week, the groups presented their game concepts to help students better understand different aspects of biology and pediatric medical research. The winning team from Nashoba Regional High School developed a concept called STEM, where players work with a “super hero cell” to repair different systems of the body (i.e., circulatory, muscle, neurological, skeletal, etc.) through various challenges. The winning teachers won XBox360 Extremes for their classrooms, while student winners were awarded DVD sets of LIFE, the natural history series recently presented on the Discovery Channel. The experience, led by doctors and researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston and Microsoft designers and developers, connected classroom learning with real world applications and spurred collaboration and creativity among the group.
Microsoft believes that education methods must always adapt and evolve so it’s important to identify ways to use new technologies in order to foster interactive learning experiences.