Idaho Teacher Uses Computer Video Games to Teach Science




Most high schools do not use a video game to teach science. But this is how Jonathan Schaper teaches ninth-grade earth science in Lewiston, ID.  Ninth-graders from Lewiston are learning about earth science from interdisciplinary video games created by college professors. Lessons cover evolution and DNA as well as how to analyze data.


Project Hastur is the second game from Polymorphic Games based at the University of Idaho. The video game combines tower defense with evolutionary mutants to create a challenging game and an educational experience.


“Many high schoolers have a preconceived notion that a scientist is someone in a white lab coat. Many of my students have an interest in science but do not see how they can pursue it. Project Hastur shows students you can be a business major, a music major or a graphic designer and still be involved in science,” Schaper said in an interview with the Idaho Statesman.


Barrie Robinson and Terence Soule, professors at the University of Idaho in biological sciences and computer science, respectively, created the interdisciplinary video game with teams of undergraduate students in diverse degree programs.


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Project Hastur: