In the Science through Technology Enhanced Play (STEP) project, we are investigating how embodied play among elementary school students can be used to help them understand scientific phenomena (e.g., the working of forces, complex behaviors of bees).
Below is an image of a recent implementation of our most recent version, GEM-STEP, in action. Here you can see children in the classroom pretending to be fish. As they do this, the GEM-STEP system tracks their locations using tags on their hats and uses that information to control fish in the simulation at the bottom of the image. This simulation is then projected for the students to see as they play. In this activity, the students are exploring how the fish in a pond ecosystem are dependent on the algae for survival, and how the algae are in-turn dependent on the sun. Our theoretical framework for embodied learning (Danish et al., 2020) highlights how youth learn in this kind of activity by attending to both their individual embodied experience of moving around, and their social, collective experience of coordinating their movement as they explore this system.
This video illustrates using the STEP-BEES platform:
The STEP Project is the result of a series of grants including:
Note that this work extends our prior work on the Learning Physics through Play (LPP) Project.
|Grant Name||Funding Agency||Grant Number||Co-PIs|
|Generalized Embodied Modeling to support Science through Technology Enhanced Play||NSF||1908632 & 1908791||Joshua Danish, Noel Enyedy, Corey Brady|
|DIP: Interactive Science through Technology Enhanced (ISTEP)||NSF||1628918||Joshua Danish, Noel Enyedy|
|EXP: Promoting Learning through Annotation of Embodiment (PLAE)||NSF||1522945||Joshua Danish, Noel Enyedy|
|DIP: The Science Through Technology Enhanced Play (STEP)||NSF||1323767||Joshua Danish, Noel Enyedy|