New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

A Martian Adventure: An Interactive Geo-Edutainment Tool

János Varjas, Doctoral School of Earth Sciences - University of Pécs (Hungary)

Zsuzsanna M. Császár, University of Pécs (Hungary)

Péter Gyenizse, University of Pécs (Hungary)

Szabolcs Czigány, University of Pécs (Hungary)

Ervin Pirkhoffer, University of Pécs (Hungary)


Cooperative and simulation games can create an exciting and experimental learning environment. The participants of these games can develop competences which are overlooked in traditional educational methods. The geography subject has a lot of opportunity to apply games of this type in the learning progress. This paper’s goal is to present „Martian Adventure” game which is designed in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences of the University of Pécs. Our goal was to create an interactive teaching method, through edutainment and gamification, which helps students to develop navigational, programming and general STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competences. During the activity we applied Lego Boost robots on a theoretical Martian surface. The robots moved across various Martian landforms which enabled students to perceive these landforms and their terrestrial equivalents. Our findings indicated that that students’ terminology increased in the field of planetary and general surface morphology.
Although high school students are regularly engulfed in astronomy and planetary sciences through popular media movies, still their education in Hungary is only based on conventional teaching methods. However, with the advent and the exponential development of robot and infotainment technology, general terms and definitions used in planetomorphology may be perceived, acquired, and clad with real scientific meanings via interactive gamification. The visual multimedia experience enhances the process of imprinting and students were able to apply the adequate terms in a complex context-valid way. As students used their own mobile phones, scientific resources are not necessarily implemented as traditional source of knowledge obtained via conventional classes but rather attained through entertaining activities.

Keywords: Martian Adventure, Gamification, Lego Boost;

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