ERIC Number: ED395819
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Issues in Project-Based Science Activities: Children's Constructions of Ocean Software Games.
Yarnall, Louise; Kafai, Yasmin
One of the most pressing issues in education is the importance of creating learning contexts and communities that are based on children's thinking in science and enhancing their understanding of pertinent concepts. In this research study, fifth grade students (N=20) were asked to design a game teaching younger students about the ocean environment. The games developed by the students were examined along with the electronic interactions among the game designers and the classroom consultants who were a group of more experienced students in the same school. The analyses of the games showed that there was a strong connection between the content integration and the science-oriented theme of the game. The analyses of the electronic interactions indicated that students made early decisions about where to focus their discussions and initial attempts to discuss science content were redirected to focus on programming issues. The effect of the game programming context and the high level of creative control accorded to students on the type of science content integrated into their games and the nature of their electronic interactions is discussed. It was concluded that this project-based learning environment heightened motivation and commitment. Contains 32 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April, 1996).