White Paper
Creating Digital Design Challenges

                    Design. Build. Explore.


                    Design. Build. Explore.

                    Summar y

                    Our nation ...
SimC h a l l e n g e



We seek to advance the learning and career development of science, technology, engineering
and mat...
are losing the international STEM workforce battle because we are failing to inspire, educate and
lead our greatest strate...
officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), National Ocean...
vehicles to space gloves. Each prize offers $250,000.
    Grand Challenges in Global Health sponsored by the Bill & Melind...
design kit with key game design aspects of the U.S. Army's wildly successful quot;America's Army,
The Official Army Game.q...
rich and highly interactive, where students must use their engineered creations to unravel the
mysteries and puzzles of sc...
workshops will be offered for teachers. Students will be spotlighted as our next generation
scientists and publicly reward...
to tie ourselves to a single game or simulation technology. We will rely on appropriate
technologies and leverage each of ...
SimC h a l l e n g e


A: Leveraging...
Appendix A
Leveraging the Convergence of Video Game & Simulation/Modeling Technologies

Appendix B
                      Our product development strategy is designed to support inter-agency and cross-industry c...
Appendix C
SimChallenge Themes & Critical DoD STEM Domains Matrix

Each of our SimChallenge Themes is designed to cover nu...
Appendix D
SimChallenge Mini-Game Architecture

Appendix E
SimChallenge Web-based System

            Interface layer
                                        Project &...
Appendix F
SimChallenge Career Development Model

                                                  Experience Requirem...
Appendix G
Framework for SimChallenge Program Evaluation
The SimChallenge Program Evaluation provides a crucial link betwe...
Appendix H
Appendix I
SimChallenge Consortium Members Working List
Consortium Members                          Celera Genomics       ...
SimC h a l l e n g e

Biblio graphy

Augustine, N. Chair. Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Energizing and Employing America for
Brighter Economi...
Cannon-Bowers, J., Rademacher, R., Carbone, T. and Mayo, M. The Effectiveness of Massively
Multi-Player, Game-based Learni...
Rogers, A. quot;The Challenger, Peter Diamandis, X Prize Foundation.quot; WIRED Magazine. June
2006: 163.

Rudolph, N. & T...
Wardrip-Fruin, N. & Harrigan, P., Editors. First Person, New Media as Story, Performance, and
Game. The MIT Press. Cambrid...
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Simchallenge Whitepaper


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I developed a novel concept for the DoD with the founder of America’s Army Future Applications, William H. Davis, to advance science and engineering education. “SimChallenge” is an ecosystem of digital design challenges, which combine real-world simulation tools with thematically linked adventure mini-games.

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Simchallenge Whitepaper

  1. 1. Exploration Unknown Adventure White Paper Creating Digital Design Challenges SimChallenge TM Design. Build. Explore.
  2. 2. SimChallenge Design. Build. Explore. Acknowledgments While I crafted this work from the perspective of the Department of Defense, I wanted to create a solution that had broad appeal to a consortia of interests. I was very fortunate to have been able to draw upon leading minds across a number of disci- plines and agencies. The result is a synthesis of insights and conversations with educators, gamers, students, engineers, scientists and politicians. I am deeply grateful to William H. Davis, founder of America's Army Future Applications, engineer, artist, space exploration enthusiast, and twenty- three year veteran of DoD simulations. Bill was the intellectual bridge between the worlds of modeling and simulation and video games. His guidance was invaluable. To Dr. Shelley Canright for being an incredible leader during my tenure at the NASA Sponsored Classroom of the Future. As one of NASA's leading minds in education, Shelley afforded me the opportunity to work on NASA's education mission, participate in NASA's Centen- nial Challenge Workshop and understand how NASA creates research consortia. As Director of the National Academies Government-University- Industry Research Roundtable, Dr. Merrilea Mayo's SOLAR SAIL VESSEL candor and forthright appraisals of ideas shaped the direction of my work. I am forever indebted for the opportunity of a lifetime. I presented a science and engineering game idea to an esteemed audi- ence at the National Academies. Until Sharon Welch of NASA Langley's Innovation Institute enlightened me, the phrase quot;simulation-based educationquot; was unknown. Thanks for some great conversations regarding gaming and including me in the Hamp- ton Serious Games Group. To Keith Thompson for helping me understand the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education needs of the DoD. Prior to his presentation, I saw STEM education as the domain of the science agen- cies, not realizing the vastness of the DoD labora- tory system. To Joseph Saulter and Nichol Bradford for helping me understand the power of diversity and how investments in our at-risk youth generate returns for all of us.
  3. 3. SimChallenge Design. Build. Explore. Summar y Our nation faces a critical challenge: we must grow the ranks of scientists and engineers to remain at the international forefront of scientific discovery. This white paper sets forth the concept of using digital design challenges to advance science, tech- nology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Today, scientific challenges are ushering in a new era of innovation. SimChallenge is the educational version of DARPA's Grand Challenge, NASA's Centennial Challenge, X Prize and other national challenges. Transforming STEM education requires us to integrate systems, tools and practices to create a new educational experience. By combining the competitive advantage of video game, simulation and modeling technologies with the magic of entertainment, digital design chal- lenges offer students the platform to work on team-based, cutting-edge engineering and scien- tific projects. SimChallenge is a learning system that couples the use of real-world engineering tools, such as Pro/Engineer and Matlab, with a novel Mini-Game Architecture. Using these tools, students design and build engineered solutions. Then they quot;playquot; with their creations. Each themati- SOLAR SAIL VESSEL cally linked Mini-Game is a unique, synthetic quot;prov- ingquot; ground: a small laboratory where students can take risks and explore possible outcomes. Imagine countless challenges being built across various entertainment themes that embrace the realism of authentic science as well as the fantasy of science fiction. Entertainment themes include Moon, Mars & Beyond, Deep Ocean Quest, Human Machine, Amazon Rainforest, U.S Military Power and Defend America. While working on a challenge, students quot;becomequot; astrophysicists, biomedical engineers, nanotechnologists, etc. In essence, the quot;professionsquot; become models for education (Shaffer 2004). quot;Authentic Professionalismquot; is our cornerstone concept, which underpins all chal- lenge activities (Gee 2006). Ultimately, it is our goal to create a new breed of scientist and engineer for the nation.
  4. 4. SimC h a l l e n g e Contents 1 Objective 1 Situation 2 Opportunity 4 Solution 4 | Business Model 5 | Underlying Magic 6 | Marketing & Distribution 7 | Financing Strategy 7 | Growth Strategy Conclusion 8 Appendices 10 A: Leveraging the Convergence of Simulation and Video Game Technologies 11 B: SimChallenge Theme Descriptions 12 C: SimChallenge Themes and Critical DoD Sciences and Engineering Matrix 13 D: SimChallenge Mini-Game Modular Architecture 14 E: SimChallenge Web-based System 15 G: SimChallenge Career Development Model 16 F: SimChallenge Program Evaluation 17 H: SimChallenge Consortium Organizational Model 18 I: SimChallenge Consortium Members Working List 20 Bibliography Author Todd J. Borghesani, Esq. Copyright © 2006 by Todd J. Borghesani All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. SimChallenge is a trademark of Todd J. Borghesani. September 30, 2006
  5. 5. SimChallenge OBJECTIVE We seek to advance the learning and career development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics domains (STEM) using a vanguard educational solution that combines real- world simulation tools with video game technologies. Specifically, our purpose is to create digital design challenges where students design and build models and simulations and then quot;playquot; and quot;competequot; with their creations in thematically linked, adventure mini-games. Our short-term goals include the development of a prototype based on the theme of space exploration as well as the analysis of the technical and business framework. Our growth and product development strategies embrace a consortium approach, which is open to other agencies, industry and universities with the DoD as the coordinating agency. SITUATION The bedrock of America’s competitiveness is a well-educated and skilled workforce. America's economic strength and global leadership depend in large measure upon our Nation’s ability to generate and harness the latest in scientific and technological developments and to apply these developments to real world applications. Increasingly, worldwide socioeconomic trends and educational developments will challenge the preeminence of the United States in science, technology and engineering; and challenge its economic strength. Because other nations also recognize the importance of a highly skilled workforce for sustained economic growth, there is fierce international competition. The pace of change and international competition is exemplified by the rise of China and how it now challenges America and the world as the next superpower. China today is visible everywhere: in the news, in the economic pressures battering America, in the workplace, and in every trip to the store. China has more speakers of English as a second language than America has native English speakers. It has more than 300 biotech firms. There are 186 MBA programs in China. General Motors expects the Chinese automobile market to be bigger than the U.S. market by 2025. Some 74 million Chinese families can now afford to buy cars. What could happen when China will be able to manufacture nearly everything—computers, cars, jumbo jets, and pharmaceuticals—that the United States and Europe can, at perhaps half the cost? The rapid upward spiral of student achievement in foreign countries—like China—only exacerbates our downward spiral in domestic STEM achievement. In the United States approximately 50% of prospective engineers are “weeded out” in large lecture courses their very first year in college. The work of Seymour and Hewett shows that this “weeding out” is not on the basis of ability (GPAs of those who stay and leave the discipline are the same), but on the basis of student’s willingness to “put up with” the unpalatable pedagogical experience of those first year lecture classes. Hence, students are leaving because they are not engaged in the content. We 1
  6. 6. are losing the international STEM workforce battle because we are failing to inspire, educate and lead our greatest strategic asset: our Nation's youth. U.S. industries and our federal agencies with science agendas are suffering, and the DoD is no exception. The attrition in DoD labs alone is estimated at 13,000 science and engineering departures within the next 10 years. The number of quot;clearablequot; students pursuing defense-related quot;critical skillsquot; degrees is small and declining. Yet, the projected U.S. demand for scientists and engineers will be up 10% by 2010. Across the DoD, there are approximately 200,000 workers engaged in science and engineering jobs. This represents 45% of the total DoD workforce, but in some disciplines it is as high as 80% of total employment. Today, 40% of those individuals are eligible for retirement. In a 1999-2002 NSF study on government employed scientists and engineers (across all agencies and their major occupational groups) the DoD employed over 43% of the total scientists and engineers. Out of all the federal agencies, the DoD has the most to lose through attrition of future science workers during college coupled with aging of current employees. To meet these coming scientific and technological challenges, STEM education will require transformation from elementary school through post-graduate training. Convergence of previously separate scientific disciplines and fields of engineering cannot take place without the emergence of a new workforce that understands multiple fields in depth and can intelligently integrate them. We must implement new multidisciplinary programs and organizations that leverage advanced learning technologies–simulation and video game technologies–to provide rigorous, multifaceted STEM education. Simulation tools are, in effect, the quot;calculatorsquot; of next-generation engineers and scientists. The use of simulation-based engineering and science must become a discipline, an engineering tool, and a life-long learning endeavor. At the end of the 20th Century we witnessed the convergence of natural and physical sciences. This convergence of scientific domains refers to the synergistic combination of four major provinces of science and technology, each of which is currently progressing at a rapid rate: nanoscience and nanotechnology; biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering; information technology, including advanced computing; and cognitive science. To succeed as scientists and engineers of the next generation, students must acquire substantial depth in computational and applied mathematics, as well as in their specific engineering or scientific disciplines. Graduate students, moreover, must be able to build foundations that allow them to access quantum and molecular science; statistical and continuum mechanics; biological science and chemistry; applied and computational mathematics; computer science and scientific computing; and imaging, geometry, and visualization. However, as of today, sophisticated simulation tools have not been introduced into STEM education in an engaging and systematic manner. Moreover, traditional science teaching at the undergraduate level continues to focus on rote learning instruction and is firmly limited to its own disciplinary domain. Future scientists will need to understand more than their first discipline (like their first language) and be able to use interdisciplinary inquiry and discourse to understand complex systems, communicate these ideas to their peers, and deduce testable hypotheses. We not only must grow the ranks of scientists and engineers to remain at the international forefront of scientific discovery, we must create a new breed of scientist and engineer. OPPORTUNITY Further emphasizing the need for STEM education transformation, the President has proposed doubling over the next 10 years the budgets of key science agencies, including NSF, as part of his new American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). Supporting the ACI, on March 10, 2006, top 2
  7. 7. officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Energy (DoE) outlined their efforts in testimony before the House Science Committee. This historic hearing marked the first time each of the science education agencies appeared together before Congress. These key science agencies have formed the Academic Competitiveness Council to foster inter-agency cooperation. It is now recognized that inter- agency cooperation is necessary to catalyze this critical educational transformation. We are at a unique place in history where we have the advanced learning technologies to support quot;convergentquot; or multidisciplinary STEM education. As an advanced learning technology, it is video game technologies that offer the most promise for reaching, engaging and instructing our future scientists and engineers; our convergent thinkers. Video games are the prevalent and expanding means of entertainment for young people. There is little doubt that in the last thirty years, video games have become one of the most pervasive forms of entertainment, both in the Unites States and throughout the world. One in every four American households owned a Sony Playstation by 2000. Moreover, early games such as Pokemon, Pac-Man and The Mario Brothers have evolved as cultural phenomena. And more recent games, such as Halo 2, made over $120 million on their first day of release, exceeding major motion pictures' first day sales. For this reason, educators have begun to take seriously the notion that video games have the potential to reach and engage unprecedented numbers of learners, particularly with the advent of the Internet. The convergence of education and gaming technologies represents an evolution of learning. Games teach by encouraging competition, experimentation, exploration, and innovation. Moreover, Squire and Jenkins argue that games contain rules that constrain action, force players to make choices and experience the consequences of those actions, and can be an effective vehicle to encourage learners to form hypotheses and then test them against actual outcomes in the simulated world. Video games foster critical thinking by requiring players to solve problems. In addition, games that involve multiple players have the potential to foster communities, where knowledge is constructed and shared among members. In team-based video games learning efficiency is measurably improved. Games also typically include natural provisions for clear goals, challenge and feedback, all features that are typically associated with effective instructional design. Interestingly, there is a strong connection between video game technologies and simulation tools, which have a natural technical synergy. Today, the serious games market–the use of game technologies for purposes beyond pure entertainment–is the locus of this convergence (See Appendix A). As such, because of their incredibly high appeal to our youth, video games offer the bridge between simulation and modeling tools, and their use to advance STEM education and simulation-based engineering and science. The combination of these technologies provides a rich, new and scalable educational environment in which students from middle school through undergraduate can collaborate on interdisciplinary engineering and science teams. While these advanced learning technologies exist, how may we deploy them in a team-based educational setting? Nothing inspires teamwork like a great challenge. From cars and math to faster genome sequencing, more fuel-efficient automobiles and a new lunar lander, today challenges are sparking creativity. For instance, the $10M privately funded X-Prize went to Burt Rutan, the designer of the first practical suborbital tourist spacecraft. When Peter Diamandis awarded the $10 Million Ansari X Prize to the SpaceShipOne crew in 2004, he did more than build excitement about private space travel. He reignited one of the most potent tools for fostering innovation and philanthropy: the challenge. Now, a variety of privately sponsored national engineering and scientific challenges with sizeable cash prizes are in the offing. DARPA's Grand Challenge sponsored DoD to build an autonomous vehicle that can cross • 130 miles of desert. Stanford University, the winner, was awarded $2 million. Centennial Challenges sponsored by NASA to create better space technologies, from • 3
  8. 8. vehicles to space gloves. Each prize offers $250,000. Grand Challenges in Global Health sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for • new research in medicine $436.6 million. Millennium Prize Problems sponsored by the Clay Mathematics Institute for solving math • problems such as the Reimann hypothesis. Each prize is $1 million. Methuselah Mouse Prize sponsored by Methuselah Foundation for new technologies for anti- • aging. Each prize is $3 million. America's Space Prize sponsored by Robert Bigelow for a five-person Reusable Rocket that • can orbit earth and dock with a Space Station. The prize is $50 million. House Bill HR 5143, H-Prize Act of 2006, for technological breakthroughs to transition to a • hydrogen economy. The prize scales up to $100 million. eCybermission sponsored by U.S Army is a web-based science, math and technology • competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. $3000 EE Savings Bonds are awarded for regional 1st and 2nd place winners. These challenges were created to inspire innovation across science and engineering. Yet, there are only limited science and engineering education challenges, and none of them leverage simulation, modeling and video game technologies to scale into a national phenomenon. While other worthy efforts are taking place, they are addressing too few people and are not strategically integrated across the critical engineering and science disciplines. Now is the time to create a solution that facilitates this unprecedented federal cooperation while systematically addressing the crisis-level shortfall of American student achievement in STEM education. SOLUTION The DoD is the ideal steward to advance a national STEM education and workforce development Challenge effort because national defense needs touch on all areas of STEM education. Moreover, the growing shortfall in our national science and engineering talent pool directly affects our defense capabilities. Additionally, the DoD is our foremost pioneer in the use of simulation/modeling tools and video game technologies. As such, the DoD is well suited to face this national threat and lead a federal multi-agency (National Academies, NSF, NASA, NIH, DoE and NOAA) approach for advanced STEM education and career development. Using quot;SimChallengequot; as the unifying concept, we seek to establish a technical, political and funding framework for the systematic inclusion of simulation tools and video game technologies into the DoD STEM education and workforce development Initiatives. The term of art quot;SimChallengequot; emphasizes the STEM basis for this educational endeavor, its link to simulation- based engineering and science, and acts as the quot;brandquot; for the effort. Having prioritized STEM education initiatives, the Department of Defense (DoD), through the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), may offer a series of digital design challenges as a way to begin addressing the STEM education problem on a national scale. Business Model As noted above, there is ample precedence for the use of the quot;challenge business model,quot; which couples prize incentives with defined objectives to inspire people to find solutions to difficult problems. To achieve the SimChallenge Business Model we synergize two successful solutions being offered for DoD STEM education and DoD U.S Army outreach, education and training. First, we leverage and expand on the quot;physical design kitquot; challenge model of the DoD Materials World Modules (MWM) Program by creating a quot;digital design kit.quot; Second, we combine this digital 4
  9. 9. design kit with key game design aspects of the U.S. Army's wildly successful quot;America's Army, The Official Army Game.quot; The Materials World Module Program addresses the question: How can we as educators provide the skills–in science, math, and technology–that our students need to understand the materials they use and the impact materials have on society? Modules for biodegradable materials, biosensors, ceramics, composites, infrastructure materials, materials and environment, material design, polymers, smart sensors, and sports materials supplement existing high school curriculum, fostering inquiry skills as students cooperatively design, implement, and evaluate creative solutions to real-world design challenges. The modules have been field-tested by thousands of Middle and High School students. MWM is designed to meet the goals and standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, American Association for the Advancement of Science Project 2061, and the National Research Council. The DoD is deploying MWM to all Middle and High Schools in Maryland during Fall 2006 and New Mexico will follow the subsequent year. The America's Army game offers the conceptual model for our development. Using thematically linked content the game places the player in a multi-player military context of quot;being a Soldier.quot; The America's Army Game quot;Platformquot; has placed the Army recruiting program in the enviable position of a direct beneficiary of technology advances created by the demand for video game entertainment. Over the last four years, it has become the hub for a community of interest in the U.S Army. As one of the four or five most popular online PC action games in the world, America's Army has drawn a very loyal following and player base that has doubled each year. Currently, there are over 6 million registered users who assume various roles and receive education on military careers. Each SimChallenge is designed to conjoin content, careers and context using a variety of quot;themes.quot; SimChallenge uniquely combines the use of real world simulation and modeling tools— such as Pro/Engineer and Matlab—with thematically linked adventure quot;mini-games.quot; With themes focused on Space Exploration, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Homeland Security and the U.S. Military we can create a set of thematically linked educational challenges that cover all the DoD Critical STEM Domains (See Appendices B & C). Additionally, these themes offer other federal agencies, institutions and corporations wishing to take part in the DoD SimChallenge effort a focused way to address their STEM education agendas, while working within our organizational and community framework. Underlying Magic A SimChallenge consists of two major components: thematically linked adventure mini-game(s) and their related simulation and modeling tools. Each SimChallenge is, at its core, played as a team-based game requiring team members to select a role and solve the engineering and/or scientific objectives associated with that role. This combination of roles and engineering and/or scientific objectives offers extensive re-playability. Each interdisciplinary team of students design and build their ideas using real-world simulation tools such as PTC's Pro/Engineer and Mathwork's Matlab. Teams complete a series of hands-on, inquiry-based activities. Then they bring their creations to life in a game-based environment: the adventure mini-game. Students simulate the work of scientists (through activities that foster inquiry) and engineers (through activities that emphasize design). The cornerstone of the experience is the thematically linked adventure mini-game. It is this part that offers the key differentiator from other design challenges and creates the brand loyalty that will be necessary to achieve widespread adoption and a measurable difference in STEM education achievement. Imagine mini-games with digital adventure environments that are visually 5
  10. 10. rich and highly interactive, where students must use their engineered creations to unravel the mysteries and puzzles of scientific phenomena. Similar to the physical proving grounds used by NASA or the test tracks of Daimler Chrysler these adventure mini-games offer environments modeled after our solar system, the human body, the Amazon's rainforest, deep ocean, and amazing military hardware in theaters of war. The collection of SimChallenges runs on a modular mini-game architecture (See Appendices D & E). Team members log into their project space to use the SimChallenge quot;Kitquot; assets. Assets are simulation tools, mini-game(s), authentic scientific data, engineered models, sample software code, texture maps, wikipedia, etc. The project space is designed as a cross between a project based learning interface and the U.S. Army's America's Army Community website. It offers a browser-based, digital place where teams collaboratively work through the engineering design process, recording their work in journals, and getting advice from an industry coach as well as their science teacher. Applying MySpace-like functionality, students create their social network, linking to other teams/individuals of interest, sharing ideas and designs. Using a project based learning approach embodied in an engineering design process each SimChallenge quot;themequot; offers authentic scientific and engineering problems across numerous scientific and engineering domains. SimChallenges act as inspirational tools designed to attract interest in specific science and engineering careers–segueing student interest into simulation and real-world learning adventures (See Appendix F). Additionally, they offer scalable, design-based, curriculum-mapped content. In Middle School, simulation design tools are embedded in the mini-game itself. Students design, build, and quot;play to learnquot; science and engineering in adventures mapped to the above-mentioned themes. In High School, SimChallenges couple the use of real-world simulation tools with the adventure mini-game. Student teams solve quot;authenticquot; science and engineering problems (e.g. students build key parts of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Scaling the complexity of the SimChallenge further, undergraduates work on digital design challenges to create new knowledge (e.g. design a real Mars space suit) and test the design in a mini-game with more complex game mechanics, physics, etc. As SimChallenges scale up through higher education the educational scaffolding is increasingly removed. Through solid program evaluation we can understand how to continually evolve the effort (See Appendix G). Marketing & Distribution The objective of a brand awareness and marketing strategy is to provide the least friction towards large-scale adoption for at-home and in-classroom use. SimChallenges may be marketed three ways. Schools can use them as standalone quot;kitsquot; either as a substitute for, or adjunct to, lecture- based instruction. Students can use them at home, in a similar fashion to when we of past generations used to build and play with plastic and balsa wood models. Then there is the quot;Official SimChallenge Leaguequot; where a school fields a student team to compete at school, city, state and national levels for cash and prizes. The League is modeled after popular video gaming leagues, such as the Global Gaming League. Each SimChallenge can be promoted similar to video games, where pre-released visual designs and imaginative writing (trailers) builds the excitement for the upcoming kit. Back stories for a SimChallenge are crafted to set the stage for a unique and exciting adventure into the unknown. The back story may be created using a comic book-like interface and acts like an quot;episodequot; within the overarching Theme, giving context to the use of the tools and adventure mini-game. The back story is accessible to everyone via the Web. To foster a national SimChallenge Community we will host the SimChallenge Conference. The conference will focus on using video game technologies, simulation and modeling tools for the advancement of STEM education and workforce development. Professional Development 6
  11. 11. workshops will be offered for teachers. Students will be spotlighted as our next generation scientists and publicly rewarded. There will be onsite corporate-sponsored (e.g. WIRED, X Prize and Lockheed Martin) SimChallenges for middle school, high school and undergraduates. These are time-delimited challenges, similar to tournament chess. Additionally, the conference will act as a national forum for the research-based advancement of SimChallenges. The SimChallenge Conference may be a conference within the growing family of Serious Games conferences such as the Games for Health, Games for Social Change, Serious Games Australia, Japan and the Serious Games Europe Conferences. Distribution of SimChallenges may be achieved through the same online channels as video games. We can achieve a high level of awareness through the constituencies of educational, engineering and scientific associations to reach a target audience of parents, students, teachers, and school district administrators. Parent and teacher workshops can be conducted in key cities across the United States serving as outreach and professional development. Financing Strategy Initially, we seek to develop a DoD Program Objective Memorandum (POM) wedge. The POM will establish the core funding for this endeavor. We will use the POM for specific developments in Materials Science, synergizing with Material World Modules and other DoD-identified critical education/technology areas. Additionally, we will use these funds to develop the formal organizational and technical structure for the effort. Moreover, this funding will provide the impetus for coordinated, official and accepted developments for specific statewide educational simulation and game-based learning programs. Finally, SimChallenge funding will demonstrate to other agencies DoD’s commitment to STEM education and workforce development. To make the effort sustainable, we envision a more extensive funding strategy that leverages the DoD investment with funding from other government agencies, educational institutions, scientific and engineering establishments, academia and numerous industry partners. With development costs of each SimChallenge ranging from an estimated 50K to 250K, additional funding may be acquired from other federal sources and corporate sponsorships. Additionally, with the incorporation of commercial properties some SimChallenges may be sold. The licensing of assets to private developers may generate revenue, as well. Increasingly, the effort achieves economies of scale by reusing and repurposing digital assets, sharing technology licenses (e.g. game engine licensing), and co-marketing. Growth Strategy Using an interplay of cross-sector partnerships, we envision developing the SimChallenge Consortium with the DoD as a key player and coordinating force (See Appendix H). The DoD is the only federal agency that has the mission, funding and long-term commitment to address STEM education and workforce development in a comprehensive manner, nationwide. Founders of this initiative may be DoD, NASA, the National Academies (GUIRR & CASEE) and PTC. Consortium members would come from government, industry and academia. The Consortium is designed to manage the ongoing development of SimChallenges, conduct industry and government liaison work, sponsor academic research and program evaluation, and host SimChallenge Conferences. The founding members, key agencies and organizations are listed in Appendix I. The Consortium is the owner of the SimChallenge suite of intellectual properties. Central to these properties will be the SimChallenge model, built around game technology, simulation/modeling tools and real-world activities. A comprehensive IP strategy is necessary because we do not seek 7
  12. 12. to tie ourselves to a single game or simulation technology. We will rely on appropriate technologies and leverage each of their strengths to achieve the necessary learning outcomes, game aesthetics and mechanics. We envision granting rights to participating private developers for the repurposing of licensed assets in non-competing commercial ventures or for commercial quot;tie-inquot; efforts. Regarding the latter, in cases where the DoD may elect to leverage the imprimatur of a popular commercial game, DoD rights will be more limited and will have to be negotiated individually. CONCLUSION There is a general perception that now is the time for a coordinated effort involving government, industry and academia to advance video game and simulation/modeling technologies for learning. By applying resources to video game technologies, we achieve a gateway into simulation/modeling technologies and real-world/hands-on science and engineering activities, reaping several benefits. We use a technology whose overall advancements are funded by the public’s appetite for video games. Game technologies synergize naturally with the various high- tech initiatives needed to invigorate interest in STEM education and careers. Using digital media, we gain a large development-to-deployment cost ratio benefit over traditional methods and there are significant opportunities for leveraging costs and repurposing assets. Finally, a unique sponsorship and development model may attract our quot;creative classquot; of developers as well as investors. Games are part of our social and cultural environment: children grow up playing video games and continue the practice throughout college. Although the appeal of games is “fun,” there are deeper elements that may provide a new tool for educators. For students who are experiential learners, social and multi-taskers, games provide a fresh approach and motivation to their studies. SimChallenge leverages this social phenomenon and lays the foundation to inspire, educate and create the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs, educators, innovators and scientists. 8
  13. 13. SimC h a l l e n g e Appendices 10 A: Leveraging the Convergence of Video Game & Simulation Technologies 11 B: SimChallenge Theme Descriptions 12 C: SimChallenge Themes and Critical DoD STEM Domains Matrix 13 D: SimChallenge Mini-Game Modular Architecture 14 E: SimChallenge Web-based System 15 F: SimChallenge Career Development Model 16 G: SimChallenge Program Evaluation 17 H: SimChallenge Consortium Organizational Model 18 I: SimChallenge Consortium Members Working List
  14. 14. Appendix A Leveraging the Convergence of Video Game & Simulation/Modeling Technologies DOL Department of Labor $54 Billion Budget DHS Department of Homeland Security $41 Billion Budget NASA National Aeronautics & Space Administration SimChallenge $16 Billion Budget NOAA National Oceanic & Entertainment Video Atmospheric Administration Games Market $3.6 Billion Budget DOE Serious $13 Billion Department of Energy Games Market $20 Billion Budget $50 Million NIH National Institute of Health $28 Billion Budget ACI American Competitiveness Initiative $134 Billion Budget DOD Department of Defense $500 Billion Budget Understanding The Serious Games Market Serious Games are video games that are intended to not only entertain users, but also have additional purposes such as education and training. The fact that Serious Games are meant to be entertaining encourages re-use. Serious Games can be of any genre. The potential of games to engage is often an important aspect of the choice to use games as a teaching tool. While the largest users of Serious Games are the U.S. government and medical professionals, other commercial and educa- tional sectors are beginning to investigate the benefits and are actively seeking their own development initiatives. Long before the term quot;Serious Gamequot; came into wide use with the launch of the Serious Games Initiative in 2000 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., games were being developed for non- entertainment purposes. The continued failure of the quot;edu-tainmentquot; space to prove profitable, plus the growing technical sophistication of games to provide realistic settings and multi-player experiences led to a re-examination of the concept of “video games for learning” in the late 1990s. During this time, a number of scholars began to examine the utility of video games for other purposes, including early work by Henry Jenkins at MIT, and books such as Janet Murray's quot;Hamlet on the Holodeck.quot; These works, among others, contributed to the growing interest in applying video games to new purposes. (Adapted from Serious Games Wikipedia) 10
  15. 15. Appendix B Our product development strategy is designed to support inter-agency and cross-industry cooperation by SimChallenge using a series of thematically linked adventure mini-games and their simulation tools. Federal agencies and their related industry sectors can support the overall effort or support a theme that serves their specialized Theme Descriptions needs. Themes are designed to bring STEM learning and careers to life in an immersive and highly interac- tive, team-based environment. MOON, MARS & BEYOND Lead Humankind into Space. The destination of humankind is space. If we are to survive and grow as a species we must explore beyond the comfortable cradle of earth. You and your team of elite astronauts will lead NASA's new human and robotic exploration efforts. On the moon you will search for water ice and set up a helium-3 extraction system. On Mars you will explore for life while working with future nanotechnology-based space technolo- gies. Beyond, you will mine asteroids and search Jupiter's moon, Europa, for life. Unravel the Mysteries of Life. HUMAN MACHINE From the encoding of DNA to the complexity of cellular life, our bodies hold mysteries yet to be unraveled. Research in biology, chemistry, physics and neuroscience contain unmistakable hints about how we can cure almost any disease and fix any human deficiency. You and your team of advanced medical researchers and biotechnology engineers will solve today's medical problems with tomorrow's biotechnology advancements. You will use quot;miraclequot; drugs and treatments to eliminate cancer, diabetes, AIDS and Alzheimer's. Only your accurate diagnosis, design and intervention will save your patients' lives. Adventure into Unexplored Depths. DEEP OCEAN QUEST The ocean is a vast, expansive puzzle. An alien world where 95% of its depths remain unexplored. You are on the verge of making the most stunning discovery in the history of humankind. You and your team of scientists and engineers are specialists in neurology, marine biology, flight simulation, evolution, and deep- sea geology. Together you setoff for the bottom of the ocean using robotic vehicles and advanced deep ocean technologies. In your quest for answers, you encounter a host of fascinating and dangerous marine animals and undersea phenomena. Save the Human Race. AMAZON RAINFOREST As the tropical wilderness of the Amazon is destroyed previously unknown viruses that have lived undetected for eons have entered the human population. Thought to originate from a remote jungle cave festering with a lethal virus, the world faces a pandemic that threatens to wipe out the population. As the death toll rises across America, you and your team must enter the Amazon and find the cure. You must navigate through the dangers of poisonous species and the geography, acquiring insight into the ecosys- tem, ecology and botany of the rainforest. Your goal is to uncover the elusive pharmacological substance which can save the human race. You are the Tip of the Spear. U.S. MILITARY POWER Our military laboratories have produced technologies that have made use the most powerful nation on earth. As new superpowers arise and global balance teeters, future technologies will protect our interests. You and your team of elite scientists and engineers operate under the cloak of DARPA—our most top secret military laboratory. You will face missions that require the reverse engineering of Chinese subs, Russian tanks as well as our own battleships. Your team will design future combat medical vehicles, armed robotic vehicles, unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, and other classified technologies. You will test them in authentic, simulated theaters of war. The lives of our marines, soldiers, sailors and pilots depend on your ingenuity. Freedom has a Price. DEFEND AMERICA We face the most elusive and dangerous enemy yet: terrorism. Driven by ideology alien to our way of life, terrorists threaten our cities and our families. Their array of weapons and tactics is evolving; and to fight them we must out think them. You and your team work for the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. You will design, develop and explore advanced solutions across agricultural, chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological, explosive and cyber terrorism to detect and prevent the inevitable: the next attack. 11
  16. 16. Appendix C SimChallenge Themes & Critical DoD STEM Domains Matrix Each of our SimChallenge Themes is designed to cover numerous critical science and engineering domains, and in turn cover a wide array of STEM learning subject matter. Each theme is a tapestry woven together with fascinating quot;science fiction-likequot; storytelling, thematically linked adventure mini-games, simulation/modeling design, national STEM standards, as well as learning and career development content (Appendix F). Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Biosciences Chemical Engineering Chemistry Clinical Medicine Civil Engineering Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences Computer and Computational Sciences Ecology & Environment Electrical Engineering Geosciences Immunology Materials Science and Engineering Mathematics Mechanical Engineering Microbiology Molecular Biology & Genetics Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Nanotechnology Neuroscience Oceanography Pharmacology Plant & Animal Science Physics Space & Planetary Sciences D A E ER T T N IN ES IC ES W O R U R EY H PO FO Q E C B M A IN RY N & A M EA A S A R R D IT N C A N N IL O A ,M O E M M P Z F N EE . U A E .S O M D H U D O A M 12
  17. 17. Appendix D SimChallenge Mini-Game Architecture Real-World Simulation Tools Adventure Mini-Game Embedded Simulation Tools Adventure Mini-Game Mini-Game Challenge Types Middle School High School Undergraduate Career 2 3 4 Complexity Levels 1 Challenge Team Roboticist Astrophysicist Geologist Medical Officer Electrical Engineer SimChallenge Web-based System Understanding The SimChallenge Mini-Game Architecture The Mini-Game Modular Architecture is a career-driven, thematically linked, game framework comprised of discrete “mini- games.” A Web-based System (Appendix E) acts as the gateway to each of the mini-games, linking them together through each team's project-based learning quot;project space.quot; Mini-games are self-contained, 3D interactive, adventure microworlds that offer a first person player experience. Each design kit and its mini-game can be downloaded and played “on-demand” by students. The characteristics that define a mini-game are the time it takes to play, complexity of game mechanics or rules of play; and complexity of dynamics or game experience. Mini-games can be both single player and online multiplayer. Mini-games are friendly to an iterative and episodic development approach. Each are linked to a SimChallenge Theme and has its own back story and challenges (Appendix B). When mini-games are taken together, they form the Theme's overarch- ing story, communicating a wide range of STEM related learning content and careers opportunities (Appendix F) across numerous critical DoD STEM domains (Appendix C). 13
  18. 18. Appendix E SimChallenge Web-based System Interface layer Project & Portfolio Management Mini-Games | Browsers | Simulation Tools User Control Layer Content Management Students | Teachers | Parents System Intelligence Layer Challenge System Engine (Inquiry Question Driven) SCORM Standards Modular Applications Layer Project Based Learning System Live Scientist Feed Reservation System Mini-Games Engine (s) API Social Network Multimedia Asset, Tools & Best Practices Wiki Game-based Assessment Engine Online Competition Engine Career & Skill Exploration System Program Evaluation System Online Payment System National STEM Standards Distributed Database Layer Learning Data Repository Understanding The SimChallenge Web-based System The central component of the Web-based system is the project-based learning interface. It offers student [team] project and career portfolio management features while providing different levels of content management (authorship permis- sions) for students, parents and teachers. Each SimChallenge is designed as an inquiry-driven adventure, and as such, a student's performance assessment will be based on that learning paradigm and the applicable national science standards. All data is SCORM compliant so that it may be sharable and reusable. Each of the supporting applications provides key features accessed via the project-based learning interface. The Live Scien- tist Feed offers a human link to real scientists for student/scientist audio video conversations. The Mini-Game Application Programming Interface (API) allows for numerous game engines to run within the Mini-Game Modular Architecture (Appendix D). A Social Network application provides student teams with the ability to link to other students who share common interests. Each team has access to a library of assets, tools and best practices. When the Official SimChallenge League hosts a national challenge the competition engine manages the quot;ladder,quot; allowing players to move through school, city, state and national levels, winning prizes and gaining national acclaim as they go. As students and teachers use the system, key program evaluation data is stored for real-time retrieval and periodic evaluations. While some SimChallenge Kits may be freely available others may be purchased via the online payment system built into the interface. 14
  19. 19. Appendix F SimChallenge Career Development Model Experience Requirements Training Experience Licensing Worker Requirements Occupation Requirements Basic Skills Generalized Work Activities Cross-Functional Skills Work Context General Knowledge Organizational Context Education DoD Critical Skills STEM Career Occupation Specific Worker Characteristics Occupational Knowledge, Abilities Skills, Tasks Interest and Worker Values Armed Services Vocational Worker Styles Apptitude Battery Occupational Characteristics Labor Market Information Occupational Outlook Wages Applying The SimChallenge Career Development Model When playing a SimChallenge a student selects a role, which has the incumbent skills and associated career characteristics. The student may continue to build that career across numerous SimChallenges. In effect, careers are a persistent part of the student's portfolio. Achievement in each of the SimChallenges is stored in the Web-based System (Appendix D) providing a logical framework for the pursuit of one or several of the critical STEM careers across the STEM domains (Appendix C). The Career Development Model provides a framework that identifies the most important types of information about STEM Careers and integrates them into a theoretically and empirically sound system. It embodies a view that reflects the charac- ter of STEM careers. The Model allows career information to be applied across careers, sectors or industries, and within careers. The Model was derived from the work of the National O*NET Consortium. The Consortium was organized to develop the Occupational Information Network and its related products for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The O*NET Consortium develops the database every state uses for its workforce development and career information system efforts. 15
  20. 20. Appendix G Framework for SimChallenge Program Evaluation The SimChallenge Program Evaluation provides a crucial link between standards and accountability measures. Clearly, knowing how effective the SimChallenge Program is, and for whom and under what conditions it is effective, represents a valuable and irreplaceable source of information to decision makers, whether they are classroom teachers, parents, district curriculum specialists, school boards, state adoption boards, curriculum writers and evaluators, or national policymakers. The Evaluation Framework has three major components that will be examined as part of its ongoing evaluation: (1) the program materials and design principles; (2) the quality, extent, and means of implementation; and (3) the quality, breadth, type, and distribution of student learning outcomes over time. Articulation of SimChallenge Theory Program Components Secondary Components Systemic Factors SimChallenge Content Intervention Strategies PBL Design Elements Unanticipated Influences Implementation Components Resources Processes Contextual Influences Student Outcomes Multiple Assessments Usage Patterns Attitudes Methodogical Choices(s) Comparative Content Case Study Analysis Analysis Quasi- Experimental Experimental Critical Decisions Comparative Analysis Case Study Type of Design Content Analysis Method for Compatibility Across Groups Define the Case Clarity & Comprehensiveness Backed Claims Appropriate Unit of Analysis Accuracy, Depth & Balance Based upon Replicable Design Document Implementation Components Engagement, Timeliness & Support for Selection of Disaggregation of Outcome Explicit Underlying Mechanism During Diversity Measures Implementation Statistical Tests Constraints to Generalizability Prepared Reports Ensured Evaluator Independence Synthesis and Accumulation of Evidence 16
  21. 21. Appendix H DoD SimChallenge Consortium Organizational Model University Partners Industry Partners Federal Partners Leadership DoD Basic Research ARDEC Management Center Board Center Director Industry Advisory Board Deputy Director Entertainmentl Board Academic Board Program Evaluator Programs SimChallenge Research SimChallenge Development SimChallenge Outreach Projects Career Exploration Program Evaluation Inquiry Assesment Technologies Curricular Content Official League Conference Platform | System Simulation Tools Workshops Mini-Games & Assets 17
  22. 22. Appendix I SimChallenge Consortium Members Working List Consortium Members Celera Genomics Aborygen Genetech Accelyrus Academia GE Medical Apple Guidant COMSOL Cornell University, High Performance Johnson & Johnson Dell Computer Corporation Computing Center Imclone EMC MIT Medtronics Google National Academies, GUIRR Millennium Pharmaceuticals Hewlett-Packard National Academies, CASEE IBM Corporation Education Old Dominion University Intel Southern Methodist University, Guildhall Lenova University of Wisconsin, Academic ADL ACT Mathematica Universities Space Research Association American Education Corporation MathWorks Virginia Modeling, Analysis, Simulation CoSN Microsoft Center Houghton Mifflin Oracle Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation PTC Government Kauffman Foundation SIIA International Society for Technology in Petroleum & Energy Chicago Public Schools Education City of Baltimore Leapfrog Enterprises Inc. Department of Defense McGraw Hill Publishing American Petroleum Institute Department of Education Pearson Education Amoco Production Company Department of Energy RiverDeep Interactive Learning Conoco Inc. Department of Homeland Security Scientific Learning Corporation ExxonMobil Department of Labor Thompson Publishing Pennzoil Exploration & Production Hampton, VA School System Shell Western Inc. Entertainment Maryland School System Pharmaceutical NASA Langley Research Center National Institute of Health Entertainment Arts National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- Entertainment Software Association Abbott Laboratories tration Game Developer’s Association Bristol-Myers Squibb New Mexico School System Lucas Arts GlaxoWellcome Midway Merk & Co. Industries & Key Players Microsoft Game Studio Novartis North America Simulation & Gaming Smithkline Beecham Aerospace & Defense Association Telecommunications Serious Games Initiative Ball Aerospace Vivendi Universal Games Boeing AT&T Environment California Space Authority Cisco Florida Space Authority JDS Uniphase Lockheed Martin American Ecology Corporation Nortel National Institute of Aerospace Aqua America Inc. Verizon National Space Society California Water Service Co. Cingular Northrup Grumman Stericycle Inc. Orbital Sciences Waste Connections Inc. Raytheon Waste Management Inc. The Planetary Society Chemical United Space Alliance X Prize Foundation Dupont Automotive & Transportation Dow Chemical Engineering Daimler Chrysler Ford Motor Company General Motors ASCE Johnson Controls Biotechnology & Medical Devices Siemens Information Technology Boston Scientific 18
  23. 23. SimC h a l l e n g e 20 Biblio graphy
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